Commonwealth v. CastilloAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the verdict of murder in the first degree and the sentence imposed in this case and remanded the matter to the superior court with directions to enter a verdict of guilty of murder in the second degree and to sentence Defendant accordingly, holding that a verdict of murder in the second degree was the most just verdict in this case.
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theory of extreme atrocity or cruelty and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the conviction, holding (1) this Court's jury instructions regarding all of the extreme atrocity or cruelty factors set forth in Commonwealth v. Cunneen, 389 Mass. 216, 227 (1983) prospectively to more closely comport with the meaning given to the term "extreme atrocity or cruelty" are hereby revised and included in this opinion; and (2) based on the evidence of extreme atrocity or cruelty in this case, this Court exercises its authority under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to reduce the degree of guilt to murder in the second degree, which, in light of the facts of this case, is a verdict more consonant with justice.