Commonwealth v. WallerAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm, holding that no error occurred during the proceedings below.
Specifically, the Supreme Judicial Court held (1) one of the Commonwealth's key witnesses did not provide improper lay testimony on the ultimate issue of Defendant's guilt; (2) Defendant's argument that a substantial likelihood of a miscarriage of justice occurred because the judge did not provide a self-defense instruction sua sponte was without merit; (3) trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance for strategically deciding against requesting a self-defense instruction; and (4) there was no basis to set aside the verdict of murder in the first degree or to order a new trial pursuant to the Court's extraordinary power under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E.