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Study: Some Judges Tend To Acquit Drunken Drivers

p 1 lawyer,flickr

A year-long study of drunken driving cases in Massachusetts recommends that the court system find ways to reduce opportunities for defendants to go ‘shopping’ for a judge who may be more likely to acquit them.  The study was conducted by an attorney appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court after The Boston Globe last year published a series of stories that found certain judges had high rates of acquittals for accused drunken drivers.

The study by attorney Jack Cinquegrana found that judges in some courts, particularly in Worcester County, acquit nearly all defendants who chose to have a judge, rather than a jury, decide their cases.  The report said nothing suggests judicial misconduct, but the high acquittal rates in certain courts “creates an appearance of leniency.”  (Associated Press)

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