Commonwealth v. Bohigian: Is There a Warrant Exception to the Statutory Consent Requirement for Blood Draws?

Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard

On February 10, 2020, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard oral argument on whether or not there is a search warrant exception to the statutory requirement that there be consent prior to a blood draw in cases of operating under the influence. Under Massachusetts law, G.L. c. 90, section 24(1)(e) and (f), consent is required for a blood draw at the request of law enforcement in order for the evidence to be admissible in court and an individual who is under arrest or suspected of operating under the influence has a statutory right to refuse a blood or breath test. However, does obtaining a search warrant for a forcible blood draw render the statute inapplicable? Read More

Are Puerto Rico and the United States Separate Sovereigns for the Purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause?

A case recently decided by the Supreme Court considered the legal nature of the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. In Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, the Supreme Court examined whether defendants in a criminal case can be prosecuted under the local laws of Puerto Rico if they have been previously convicted under the jurisdiction of the U.S. federal courts for the same conduct. Read More

Democracy, Defamation, and Defining the Right to Petition: Slapping Some Sense into Anti-SLAPP Litigation

When I began drafting my Note, “See Ya in Boston, Bruh”: Making the Link Between the Right to Petition, Activism, and the Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Statute, in September 2017, democracy was in the midst of a decade-long global recession. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the United States’ democratic status was particularly precarious. Plagued by high levels of distrust in political institutions and low levels of political participation, the United States dropped in rank from a full democracy to a flawed democracy—joining the ranks of over fifty countries, including Guatemala, Thailand, and Sierra Leone. Read More

After Mueller: A High Crimes and Misdemeanors (But Not Necessarily an Impeachment) Investigation

In the wake of Special Counsel Mueller’s largely uneventful testimony late last July, no one can envy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment dilemma. Presented with ample evidence of offenses justifying President Trump’s removal (the appalling violations of immigrants’ human rights are alone sufficient) she also knows that no matter what he has done, or how compelling the evidence offered against him, Mitch McConnell’s Senate will never vote to remove this President from office. Read More

Statement of Bruce Miller to the Committee on Public Health

For the past eight years, I have been working with the Massachusetts Campaign Against Torture, a citizens’ group dedicated to ending the involvement of health care providers, particularly psychologists, in the torture and abusive treatment of prisoners and detainees. I’m grateful to the Joint Committee on Public Health for its careful consideration of Senate Bill No. 1194 and House Bill No. 1149, which would prohibit such involvement by Massachusetts licensed professionals, and for the opportunity to speak in support of these important Bills. Read More