Decision Commonwealth v. Ruiz

Date: 10/15/2018
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Commonwealth v. Ruiz
Supreme Judicial Court, October 11, 2018
(Criminal Procedure/Habitual Offender)

 “Once again we have occasion to interpret G. L. c. 279, § 25 (a) (§ 25 [a]), which requires that a "habitual criminal" -- a defendant who has been convicted of a felony and has two prior convictions resulting in State or Federal prison sentences of three years or more -- be sentenced to the maximum term provided by law on the underlying conviction. We conclude that, although the predicate convictions must arise from separate incidents or episodes, Commonwealth v. Garvey, 477 Mass. 59, 66 (2017), the offenses need not be separately prosecuted.  We further conclude that Mass. R. Crim. P. 15 (a) (1), as appearing in 474 Mass. 1501 (2016) (rule 15 [a] [1]), and G. L. c. 278, § 28E (§ 28E), grant the Commonwealth a right to appeal from the dismissal of the sentence enhancement portion of an indictment, and thus we overrule in part Commonwealth v. Pelletier, 449 Mass. 392, 395-396 (2007).”

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