Commonwealth v. SalazarAnnotate this Case
In this appeal from a criminal proceeding, the Supreme Judicial Court discerned no reversible error but, under the unique circumstances of this case, exercised its authority under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to reduce Defendant’s conviction of murder in the first degree to murder in the second degree, holding that a conviction of murder in the second degree was more consonant with justice.
Specifically, the Court held (1) the evidence was sufficient to prove that the murder was deliberately premeditated; (2) trial counsel’s error in failing to admit Defendant’s medical records in evidence did not create a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice; and (3) an error in the prosecutor’s closing argument did not create a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice; and (4) where there was nothing to suggest that there was any ill will between Defendant and the victim and evidence of Defendant’s intoxication, Defendant’s first-degree murder verdict is vacated and a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree shall be entered.