There’s an obvious obstacle to reporting on the inner workings of Massachusetts’ “secret court” system: It’s secret.
Before Monday’s arraignment, the actor’s lawyers were given a special opportunity to have his case reviewed in a mini-trial-type setting where charges can be dropped out of public view.
Massachusetts is one of a small number of states that allow private citizens to go before clerk magistrates to lodge serious criminal complaints that are vetted, and sometimes settled, in secretive hearings.
Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey convened a “Trial Court Working Group” to review the way these hearings operate, according to court spokeswoman Jennifer Donahue.
There is no substitute for justice delivered in the bright light of day — even by clerk magistrates.
Clerks play an essential role in the legal system, but they should not be mini-judges. They shouldn’t decide cases at all.
Opinion | Rachelle G. Cohen
So far, all we’re hearing from the SJC and its Chief Justice Ralph Gants about the state’s problematic show-cause hearings is crickets.
We’re the only state in the country with these private hearings. If we’re going to hold onto them, we’ve got to make sure the people running them are equipped to do the job.
A short history of investigative reporting at The Boston Globe. It’s played a defining role in the pages of this newspaper since the 1960s.
The state’s failed mental health care system has led to a public safety crisis, including scores of murders by disturbed people, police shootings, and embattled institutions from courts to hospitals confronting a tidal wave of mentally ill people.
Information for the team’s tip-line, e-mail, PGP key, and USPS mail.
Why did it take a succession of three cardinals and many bishops 34 years to place children out of John J. Geoghan’s reach?
Psychiatric documents offer added insights into the Rev. John J. Geoghan’s troubled mind and the motivations behind his aberrant actions.
Federal air marshals have begun following US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior.
It’s been more than 40 years since our national image on race was defined by the school busing crisis — years of halting progress, steps forward and back. It is high time to break that pattern.
A growing number of people who say their fathers are priests are speaking out, drawing attention to an invisible legion of suffering.
The only hospital for military veterans in N.H. has become ground zero for an extraordinary rebellion led by doctors who say care for their patients is deteriorating fast.