Commonwealth v. TavaresAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty and declined to exercise its power pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E to reduce the conviction to manslaughter, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings below.
Specifically, the Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the trial judge did not err by denying Defendant's requests for a jury instruction pursuant to Commonwealth v. Croft, 345 Mass. 143 (1962); (2) the trial judge did not err by denying Defendant's motions for a required finding of not guilty under Croft because a rational jury could have found that Defendant was guilty of murder in the first degree on both the theories of premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty; and (3) there was no basis for reducing Defendant's sentence or ordering a new trial.