Massachusetts State House.
Policy Library

BBA Amicus Brief Supports Post-Conviction Ballistic Testing

April 29, 2021

Last week, the BBA filed an amicus brief in Commonwealth v. Jenks — the latest in a series of briefs in cases testing a 2012 law — which the BBA was instrumental in enacting — that provides a mechanism for post-conviction testing of forensic evidence, allowing petitioners to try to prove their innocence.

Here, the BBA argues that the forensic-testing law is intended to set a low bar for initial motions for such testing and that the SJC should recognize, for purposes of applying the law, that science is constantly changing, taking that into account in assessing whether a proposed analysis to be sought — in this case, ballistic testing — is a material improvement over a previously conducted analysis.

Our Amicus Committee — led by Neil Austin of Foley Hoag and Maria Durant of Hogan Lovells — has been busy recently. This brief was drafted by Neil and his Foley colleagues, Anthony Mirenda and Rachel Hutchinson, as well as John Weaver of McLane Middleton and Madison Bader of Lawson & Weitzen.

—Michael Avitzur
Government Relations Director
Boston Bar Association