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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Lawrence Harmon

Judging the judges in Mass.: Pursue accountability

Boston Municipal Court Judge Raymond Dougan is reportedly ecstatic now that a state commission has voted to dismiss a powerful complaint against him alleging bias against prosecutors and a stubborn failure to apply the law. Who can blame him? A lot of people would be giddy to discover they are untouchable.

Last year, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley unloaded on Dougan — publicly — with numerous complaints about the judge’s decisions. Conley contended that Dougan illegally vacated sentences, frivolously suppressed drug evidence, canceled bail orders imposed by other judges, and even signaled to defendants that they would catch a better break from him than from a jury. Last year, a Globe review found that appeals courts reversed or modified Dougan’s rulings more than any other Municipal Court judge.

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