Category Archives: front Chief Counsel’s Office

REMINDER – AWARD NOMINATIONS

Award nominations are currently being accepted for the Duggan, Marshall, Donovan, Blitzman, Winchester, Liacos, Mellen, Addams and Goyette Awards. Nominations must be submitted no later than March 4, 2016. All nominations must include a written explanation of why the nominee should be honored, and should be submitted to Ms. Denise Simonini, Executive Assistant to the Chief Counsel, Committee for Public Counsel Services, 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA 02108, by fax to 617-988-8495 or by email to dsimonini@publiccounsel.net. The Committee will present the awards at an Awards Ceremony on May 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.

Nominations Accepted for Duggan, Marshall, Donovan, Blitzman, Winchester, Liacos, Mellen, Addams and Goyette Awards

Nomination Process

The Committee will present the awards at an Awards Ceremony on May 24, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.

All nominations should be submitted to Ms. Denise Simonini, Executive Assistant to the Chief Counsel, Committee for Public Counsel Services, 44 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA 02108, by fax to 617-988-8495 or email to dsimonini@publiccounsel.net.

Nominations must be submitted no later than March 4, 2016. All nominations must include a written explanation of why the nominee should be honored.
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Massachusetts Court Decision Could Impact Up to a Thousand or More Similar Cases across the Country

CPCS Innocence Program Director Lisa Kavanaugh – Co-Counsel in Groundbreaking Case

On January 26, 2016, Judge Robert J. Kane overturned the 24-year-old rape conviction of George D. Perrot, ruling that scientific consensus indicates that the key, expert testimony of a FBI hair analyst would today be flawed and, therefore, inadmissible.

CPCS Innocence Program Director Lisa Kavanaugh is quoted in an article released by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University saying, “Although the decision does not bind other courts, Judge Kane’s careful analysis ‘is very significant’ and could influence judges in other jurisdictions.”

To read the entire article visit:  http://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/innocence-project/george-perrot/index.html

Women with Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders Will No Longer Be Sent to MCI Framingham – Governor Signs Bill that Gets Women the Treatment They Need and Deserve

A new law will go into effect 90 days after it was signed by Governor Baker on January 25, 2016. This law ends the civil commitment of women with alcohol and substance use disorders to prison.

Chief Counsel Benedetti said, “The practice of sending women to Framingham who are struggling with alcohol and substance use has ended.  This is a tremendous step that will aid many of our clients.  It is also encouraging to see that Massachusetts has come to understand that placing persons with alcohol and substance use disorders in facilities used to house persons convicted of criminal offenses should not and cannot replace those providing treatment services.” 

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, “By Feb. 9, fifteen beds at Taunton State Hospital will be available for women under the civil commitment process known as ‘Section 35’.  Twenty-eight new beds have opened at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain, where nurses are still being hired.”  She continued, “There are six women now civilly committed for substance abuse at Framingham who will either move to the hospitals or end their commitment before then.”

A Legislative conference committee is continuing deliberations on the remaining provisions of the Opioid bill from which the new law was generated. 

Related news articles and the Governor’s press release on the matter can be found at:   http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/massachusetts_stops_sending_wo.html, http://www.tauntongazette.com/article/20160125/NEWS/160127299, and http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-releases/fy2016/bill-signed-ending-civil-commitment-at-mci-framingham.html