This page, Notice Inviting Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rules 12, 16, 18, 28, 29, 31, 37 and 43 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure, is offered by

Notice Inviting Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rules 12, 16, 18, 28, 29, 31, 37 and 43 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure

The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure (SAC) solicits comments on proposed amendments on or before April 14, 2021.

The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure solicits comments on proposed amendments to Mass. R. Crim. P. 12(b)(5)(A), Rule 12(c)(4), Rule 16(a), Rule 18(a), Rule 28, Rule 29(a), Rule 31(d), Rule 43(b)(3)(iii) and to the captions of Rule 12(c) and Rule 37(a).

The primary purpose of the proposed amendments is to uniformly implement throughout the Rules of Criminal Procedure the terminological change from “sentence” to “disposition” required in Rule 29(a) by Commonwealth v. Beverly, 485 Mass. 1 (2020), to reflect more accurately that potential outcomes in criminal cases may include continuances without a finding or other non-conviction dispositions. 

In addition, the proposed amendment to Rule 29(a)(2) (Unjust dispositions) furthers a principle elucidated in Commonwealth v. Tejeda, 481 Mass. 794 (2019), by allowing a defendant to move, or a trial judge sua sponte, to revise or revoke the defendant’s sentence upon consideration of the disposition of criminal charges against a codefendant at any time within sixty days of the codefendant’s disposition, even though more than sixty days have passed since the defendant's sentencing.

The proposed amendments also remove gendered pronouns and references throughout the affected rules.

The proposed amendments and Reporter's Notes appear at the links below. Comments should be directed to Timothy E. Maguire, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA  02108 on or before April 14, 2021. Comments may also be emailed to timothy.maguire@jud.state.ma.us. Comments received will be made available to the public.

Proposed Amendments to Mass Rules Criminal Procedure Rules 12, 16, 18, 28, 29, 31, 37 and 43

Proposed Amendments to Mass Rules Criminal Procedure Rules 12, 16, 18, 28, 29, 31, 37 and 43 – Reporter’s Notes

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