By Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans
It’s a familiar scene in movies and television: Homicide detectives handcuff a suspect and clear the case. But in many major cities, almost 20 percent of those “cleared” cases are later dismissed and the suspects are never tried or convicted. So how does Boston compare?
In most major cities, homicide investigations are conducted only by police, who make an arrest and hand the case off to the district attorney. Unfortunately, many of these cases are dropped when prosecutors see the evidence is insufficient to bring before a jury. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice reported recently that 17 percent of “cleared” homicide cases in the nation’s largest counties were dismissed before adjudication. In one major city, the suspects in hundreds of “cleared” cases were never prosecuted, arrested, or even charged. more »
By Steve Annear
It’s a long way to the top of the John Hancock Tower—61 stories, to be precise—but 200 volunteers are willing to make the trek to the highest point of New England’s tallest building all in the name of charity and public awareness.
On March 29, at 8:30 a.m., Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley and hundreds of others will take it “step-by-step” as they ascend to the tip of the tower during the “Ginormous Climb,” a fundraiser and campaign that calls attention to the victims of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Thirty-five Suffolk prosecutors and 164 other brave volunteers will join Conley during the “first-of-its-kind” vertical charity run to raise money for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County, or CAC.
More than two dozen pairs of eyes stare out from photographs hanging in the second-floor lobby of the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in downtown Boston.
These eyes are brave. These eyes are unbreakable. These eyes are strong and proud. These eyes belong to children who have been sexually abused or assaulted. The eyes of some caregivers are there as well.
Each pair of eyes has a name and a story. Each pair of eyes is there because they are not ashamed.
It’s called the “Now You See” exhibit, and it is presented by the office of Suffolk district attorney Daniel F. Conley, Suffolk County Juvenile Court, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. The goal is simple yet profound: remove the shame from sexual assault and encourage others to come forward.
By Morgan Rousseau
City leaders hope a new ad campaign going up on Boston’s MBTA transit system will discourage women from carrying and purchasing illegal guns for boyfriends, husbands and other men who can’t legally obtain the firearms.
Operation LIPSTICK – Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killings – today kicked off the first ad campaign of its kind in the nation, according to organizers, which encourages women against buying, hiding and carrying the illegal guns that law enforcement officials say often end up being used in crimes.
The ad banners show a woman in handcuffs with the headline, “His Crime, Your Time – Holding his gun can land you in jail.”
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley recounted two recent incidents in which women were caught carrying firearms for male criminals. One involved an 18-year-old woman who was discovered to be in possession of crack cocaine and a semiautomatic gun with 14 rounds of ammunition. Her male companion, 28, had $1,900 in cash, and police believed the gun and drugs to be his.
“He took all the money, she took all the risk,” Conley said.
By Antonio Planas
The city’s top prosecutor is pushing for a gun court that would target the worst offenders in Boston as part of a renewed push to cut down on heartless gunplay.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced yesterday court personnel are in the “conception stage” of developing the new tribunal at Suffolk Superior Court.
Police say Tyrone Battle forced a 14-year-old girl into sex trafficking
By Evan Allen, Boston Globe, Feb. 20, 2014
The 14-year-old runaway was at the Dudley Square MBTA station when she met Tyrone Battle. The older man approached her, prosecutors said, and chatted her up. How old was she? What did she do for fun? Did she want to be friends? Battle then took the girl home, where he allegedly raped her at gunpoint.
Battle, 33, is accused of raping the girl during three years and forcing her to work as a prostitute. He is being charged under the state’s new human trafficking law.
“This case involves a runaway whom we believe was coerced into prostitution at the age of 14,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. “Sadly, it’s not an exception to the rule. It’s an illustration of the rule: the average age of entry into the sex trade is the young teens. This is not a victimless crime.”
BOSTON (CBS) — Local kids and teens hit the hard court Thursday, playing for peace at the sixth annual basketball for peace tournament.
They had the chance to work and talk with local leaders who encouraged the students to work hard and make positive choices.
The annual event is put on by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office to encourage students to stay away from violence.
Read more and watch video at: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/02/20/students-local-leaders-play-in-annual-basketball-for-peace-tournament/
New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Feb. 5, 2014
Three men charged with seeking to buy sex from what they thought were prostitutes in Boston have paid $1,000 fines – forking over some of the highest penalties to date for such crimes in the state, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office announced this week.
Back Bay Patch, Nov. 29, 2013
Suffolk County prosecutors, victim advocates, and others serving Boston’s Back Bay came together this week for a day-long training seminar in Boston that they hope will help interrupt the cycle of domestic violence and identify defendants whose abuse may become lethal, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
(CNN) — “Moments like these, terrible as they are, don’t show our weakness; they show our strength.” These words were spoken by Suffolk County, Massachusetts, District Attorney Dan Conley after Monday’s terror attack in Boston.
A day later, signs of that strength are seen in the stories of people — you might call them heroes — who were near the Boston Marathon finish line when two bombs exploded seconds apart.
Read More at http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/boston-heroes/
By Lauren Dezenski, Boston Globe Correspondent
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today was honored for his work on behalf of crime victims at a State House ceremony.
The state Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance presented the Gerard D. Downing Leadership Award to Conley, who has been the chief prosecutor in Suffolk County since 2002.
DA Conley: Massachusetts has some very strong and sensible gun legislation, but the great majority of gun crimes here are committed with firearms from states with looser laws.
By Patrick D. Rosso, Town Correspondent
First-graders at Dorchester’s Marshall Elementary School were all smiles Wednesday morning as Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley paid a visit to the students to read to a class and drop off a few books.
Conley was at the school to help promote more reading at a younger age and encourage the students to do their best in school. more »
By Boston Herald Editorial Staff
Facts are such stubborn things. And the state’s district attorneys have marshalled their facts well in an effort to move a crime bill that has remained in a legislative limbo for far too long.
A deal was struck last fall in which the district attorneys would agree — some of them reluctantly — to changes in current mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses in exchange for tougher laws against habitual offenders and some much needed updating to the state’s wiretap and domestic violence laws.
An omnibus crime bill passed last year by the Senate does much of what the DAs had hoped for. The House bill, passed as the clock ran down in 2011, dealt just with repeat offenders and the conference committee set up to reconcile the two has thus far left a lot of the important reforms in the Senate bill on the cutting room floor. more »
By Julian Benbow
From his post at the scorer’s table at the Kroc Center, Hector Rodriguez had the best view of both then and now.
He worked the scoreboard all day yesterday for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley’s Basketball for Peace Tournament.
He watched the 12- to 17-year-olds from a handful of Greater Boston youth programs – the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation in Jamaica Plain, the Condon Community Center in South Boston, the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, the Revere Police Athletic League, and the Teen Center at St. Peter’s – get up and down the floor all afternoon. more »
By O’Ryan Johnson
Hub cold-case sleuths are using an index of DNA profiles to break seemingly unbreakable cases from the past and bringing long-denied justice to killers who managed to skirt the law.
“We’ve seen arrests this year in cases dating back decades, and those cases might not have been made without the science that’s part and parcel of our investigative strategy” today, said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. more »
By Marielle Segarra
BOSTON — The Massachusetts House is considering a bill that would change the way the state prosecutes criminals in the sex trade. The proposal would define the people who manage prostitutes, or “pimps,” as “human traffickers.” It would also impose much stiffer penalties on pimps and the johns who pay for sex.
Some say the law would help put an end to trafficking by making it easier to prosecute those who benefit from prostitution. But others say it would do little to curb the sex trade. more »
By Renee Nadeau Algarin
Say only “good and nice things” to your classmates.
Make sure people are safe, “even on computers.”
Remember, bullying can be painful.
Such was the simple but wise advice offered yesterday by a Revere first-grader — and first-time author — in his book, “Borias Brainstorms on Bullying.”
“A bully can grab people,” 8-year-old Borias Lake said in an interview, “and make a little child feel painful.”
Borias, dressed in a tan suit and striped tie, shared his thoughts and read his book aloud to his classmates and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley during a visit by the district attorney to William McKinley School in Revere. The boy dedicated his hand-crayoned book to Phoebe Prince, the South Hadley teen who committed suicide last year after she was targeted by bullies. more »
By Daniel F. Conley
Massachusetts spends almost twice as much to defend criminals as it does to prosecute them. Why? Because 90 percent of the criminal cases of indigent defendants are handled by private attorneys who bill taxpayers by the hour.
Last year, more than half of these 3,000 private attorneys were paid more than $50,000 by the taxpayers, above and beyond their income from private clients, and some earned as much as $200,000.
When Gov. Deval Patrick proposed reforming the public defender program, the reaction from defense attorneys and their allies came fast and furious. So did a lot of misinformation aimed at preserving this broken, costly system. Patrick’s plan would replace these state-funded private attorneys, known as bar advocates, with 1,000 full-time public defenders and save tens of millions of dollars each year. more »
By Bernice Yeung
In January, as the Miami-Dade Police Department announced that it was completing the purchase of a 20-pound surveillance drone, the San Jose Police Department continued beta-testing a video-based crowd-sourcing software program to solve crimes.
Earlier this month, the New York Police Department purchased facial recognition software, and a growing number of police departments across the country have adopted a gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter.
Technology is infiltrating every aspect of the criminal justice system, from the investigation to the prosecution of crimes—even to attempts to predict them.
According to the experts, some of whom appeared at a special panel on “Techno-Crimefighting” at the 6th annual H.F. Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice this month, these are the technology trends and issues to watch:
Security Cameras + Closed-circuit Television (CCTV)
For Dan Conley, the district attorney of Suffolk County in Massachusetts, video evidence has become de rigueur in the prosecution of most serious street crimes. “In many cases, we find video surveillance helpful,” he says. “It’s a jumping-off point.” more »
The Wire and The Word on the Street:
StreetSafe Boston in Dialogue
The Word on the Street is a compelling series of programs sponsored by StreetSafe Boston, the Boston Foundation initiative dedicated to curbing youth violence in Boston’s neighborhoods. The goal is to bring together residents, civic and business leaders and funders of StreetSafe Boston to engage in a continuous process of learning about the devastating impact of youth violence on our city—and to discuss strategies for stopping the violence. more »
Latest on probe into Jamaica Plain clerk’s murder
FOX25, myfoxboston – It’s a story that has rocked the headlines for more than a week now. An immigrant from Nepal working in a Tedeschi’s convenience store in Jamaica Plain was gunned down during a robbery.
Surveillance video showed Surendra Dangol cooperated with the thief, handing over the money and then was shot in cold blood. The suspect is still at large.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley joined the FOX25 Morning News with the latest on the investigation. more »
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley hosted the seventh annual Soccer for Peace tournament last Thursday at Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester. Approximately 110 youths came out to participate in the world’s most popular game with Suffolk prosecutors, victims’ advocates and area residents.
“This is a chance for youths to hang out with members of the DA’s office outside of the courtroom,” said Tanya Brussa, director of community relations for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
The idea for the tournament was first sparked during 2002, when there was a rash of violence in the Cape Verdean community in Boston. more »
One day last week, as the Cambridge clamor over a “teachable moment” escalated all the way to the White House, Dan Conley, the Suffolk District Attorney, quietly drove himself to a middle school auditorium on the Dorchester/Mattapan line.
Before an audience of a hundred inner city kids, many of whom were no strangers to random violence and malignant dysfunction, Conley spent the better part of two hours involved in a teachable moment that may well have far more profound consequences than tomorrow night’s overexposed fandango in Washington. more »
Mayor Thomas M. Menino offers this endorsement of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley: He’s doing “fairly well.”
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, with whom Conley once clashed publicly and angrily, says they have learned to get along.
And the rank and file? “I’m not going to sugar-coat it,” said Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Thomas J. Nee. “It’s just a professional relationship.”
Seven years after Conley was appointed district attorney by a Republican governor, the moderate Democrat remains a political misfit in a job that has been traditionally inhabited by players in Boston’s notoriously cliquish political club. He maintains few allegiances, carries the baggage of old grudges, and operates largely outside the city’s backslapping political establishment. more »
That the Boston Bar Association would hand out an award to a local lawyer for work righting the injustice of wrongful convictions is hardly a surprise. That the award recipient is not some crusading defense attorney but the region’s top prosecutor makes the event a bit more noteworthy.
Six years after taking office, Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley got the recognition he is due when the bar association presented him with its “Distinguished Public Servant Award” earlier this month for his willingness to reopen cases involving questionable convictions. Under Conley’s lead, the DA’s office has moved to vacate four high-profile convictions and free inmates shown to be wrongly imprisoned.
Prosecutors are supposed to not just blindly pursue convictions but be “ministers of justice,” says bar association president Kathy Weinman. “And in the context of wrongful convictions, Dan Conley and the Suffolk DA’s office have really demonstrated that important role.” more »
SINCE my recent decision to designate State Police homicide detectives to investigate homicides that occur on the MBTA and other state-owned properties, such as Carson Beach, a great deal of misinformation found its way into the public discourse. In the interest of moving forward, it’s important to correct those factual inaccuracies that might undermine confidence in the good work by prosecutors and police in Boston. My decision was made based upon the facts, the law, and the experience and insight I’ve gained during 15 years as a prosecutor.
Under Massachusetts law, it is the district attorney who directs and controls homicide investigations. There is good reason for this: Homicide is the most serious charge that the government can level against a citizen, it is the only crime for which the accused is not entitled to release on bail, and it is the only crime for which the potential punishment includes life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The district attorney must have confidence that the evidence will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the ultimate crime. more »
Nearly a year after a much-publicized witness-protection fund was made available in Massachusetts, data shows that most prosecutors have yet to take advantage of the fund.
In March 2006, then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed a bill entitled “An Act to Reduce Gang Violence in the Commonwealth,” which contained a provision aimed at protecting critical witnesses and their families from potential dangers caused by their participation in criminal investigations.
During its inaugural year, Romney allocated $1 million for the fund, which provides a range of services, including relocation costs, housing assistance and 24-hour security. more »
Boston’s top law enforcement officials renewed their call this afternoon for the Massachusetts House to pass a bill designed to protect witnesses from intimidation from gang members and others.
They said the legislation, which has been approved by the state Senate, would help them get more violent criminals off the streets, after a year when the city’s homicide count reached a 10-year high of 75.
At a press conference, Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley also said that the proportion of murder cases resulting in convictions increased significantly in 2005, to 91 percent. The percentage of homicide cases cleared by suspects being arrested or identified, however, dropped last year below 30 percent — the lowest clearance rate in at least a decade.
O’Toole said she is considering adding officers to the homicide unit. more »
BOSTON POLICE Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole and I recently announced that a man was erroneously convicted of rape in 1991 and wrongfully imprisoned. New evidence conclusively established that he did not commit the crime and should be freed. This was the fourth instance in the last two years in Suffolk County in which individuals were freed from prison because new evidence demonstrated that they were either factually innocent of the crimes for which they had been convicted or because we believed they did not receive a fair trial.
As district attorney, I believe that the act of freeing one innocent person wrongly imprisoned is profoundly more important than all the criminals we arrest, prosecute, and convict. On behalf of the criminal justice system, I have expressed sorrow and regret at what these individuals have lost, but this is not enough. So the Suffolk County prosecutors and I rededicate ourselves to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity to ensure as best we can that the mistakes that happened in the past are not repeated. more »