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  • Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

    Massachusetts: Where lawmakers love criminals and law enforcement is left to scratch their heads.

    Drinking disclosure allowed

    Multi-DUI suspect loses court motion

    By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
    [email protected]



    WORCESTER— A Hubbardston man charged with a fourth or subsequent drunken driving offense has lost his bid to have evidence against him suppressed, including a statement he allegedly made to the arresting officer that he had consumed “about eight beers.”

    Ronald Doucette, 45, of 6 Lovell Road, Hubbardston, is awaiting trial in Worcester Superior Court on charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol, fourth or subsequent offense, and driving after suspension of his driver’s license for a prior offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

    Assistant District Attorney Blake J. Rubin said during a March court hearing in the case that Mr. Doucette had seven prior drunken-driving convictions dating to 1979. Mr. Doucette’s lawyer, John J. Roemer, said he believed his client’s record may contain duplications of convictions, because some occurred when guilty findings by a judge in district court could be appealed to a six-member jury.


    The charges pending against Mr. Doucette were lodged after he was stopped for speeding Aug. 12 on Route 68 in Hubbardston. Mr. Doucette admitted to Police Officer Robert Forte that he “had about eight beers,” failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.19 Breathalyzer reading, according to Mr. Rubin.

    Mr. Roemer filed a motion to suppress evidence from the stop of Mr. Doucette’s vehicle, including statements attributed to his client, police observations and test results. The defense lawyer alleged that the stop was made without a warrant or “other adequate grounds,” and in violation of Mr. Doucette’s constitutional rights. Mr. Roemer further alleged that Mr. Doucette’s statements to the officer were “the product of custodial questioning without provision of Miranda warnings…”

    Judge John S. McCann denied the motion to suppress in a four-page ruling issued June 5.

    The judge found that Officer Forte was justified in stopping Mr. Doucette’s vehicle after it registered a 63 mph radar reading in a 45 mph zone. The judge noted, based on evidence taken at a hearing on the motion, that Officer Forte detected a strong odor of alcohol on Mr. Doucette’s breath after asking him for his license and registration.

    Officer Forte testified that Mr. Doucette’s eyes appeared glassy and red, his speech was slurred and he was unable to produce a driver’s license. When asked if he had been drinking, Mr. Doucette replied, “I had about eight beers,” according to the judge’s findings.

    Officer Forte was unaware that driving without a license is an arrestable offense and Mr. Doucette had not been placed under arrest when the officer asked him to get out of his car, Judge McCann found. Because Mr. Doucette was not in custody when he admitted that he had been drinking, the officer was not obligated to first advise him of his right to remain silent, according to the judge’s ruling.

    On March 1, Judge McCann rejected a plea agreement that would have sent Mr. Doucette to jail for 2-1/2 years. That sentence would have begun after a 16-month jail sentence Mr. Doucette is serving in the Middlesex County House of Correction for an October conviction on another charge of driving after suspension of his license for drunken driving, according to Mr. Rubin.

    Judge McCann described the jail sentence proposed by Mr. Rubin and Mr. Roemer as too lenient and said he was willing to sentence Mr. Doucette to 3 to 3-1/2 years in state prison, with 5 years of probation to follow. Mr. Doucette turned down the judge’s offer.

    Judge Bruce R. Henry continued Mr. Doucette’s case yesterday to July 19. Mr. Roemer told the judge he hoped to be able to resolve the case on that date.
    The bold is my emphasis. That cop is either brilliant and a good liar, or damn stupid if he didn't know that's an arrestable offense. Anyway, you can see why it pays to commit crimes in this state...our lawmakers will do everything they can to protect you and make life miserable for the men and women in blue. :row__688:

  • #2
    Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

    What? I'm not sure I get your point here. SCOTUS precedent says that if a reasonable person would conclude that they could not leave the scene then they are considered under arrest.

    I don't want to see anyone get off on a technicality, but I don't get how this article supports the argument that Mass. lawmakers favor the criminal. Please elaborate.

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    • #3
      Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

      Originally posted by JMJ
      Anyway, you can see why it pays to commit crimes in this state...our lawmakers will do everything they can to protect you and make life miserable for the men and women in blue. :row__688:
      That's awesome! Thanks for the heads up.
      ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
      No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

      <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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      • #4
        Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

        Originally posted by Buck Fush
        What? I'm not sure I get your point here. SCOTUS precedent says that if a reasonable person would conclude that they could not leave the scene then they are considered under arrest.

        I don't want to see anyone get off on a technicality, but I don't get how this article supports the argument that Mass. lawmakers favor the criminal. Please elaborate.

        I'm not talking about a technicality here, I'm talking about how this guy has like 6 OUI arrests and he's not serving 10 years in jail. Some guy here in MA made the news last year because over the last 20 years had 10 OUI's (how MA refers to a DUI) and hadn't served any jailtime. All through police academy (both criminal law and constitutional law) they showed up instances where every other state in the nation EXCEPT MA had the same law. MA had laws that actually were not as harsh or gave more protections to criminals.

        It sucks, but in the state where Ted Kennedy rules the roost I wouldn't expect a crackdown on murderous drunks ;)

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        • #5
          Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

          Originally posted by JMJ
          It sucks, but in the state where Ted Kennedy rules the roost I wouldn't expect a crackdown on murderous drunks ;)

          oooooohhhooo, nice one.

          Yeah, a lot has changed in Mass since the pilgrims established the Magna Carter and all back in 1619.
          In many ways N.E. and the Nation' culture has gottien better but in other ways it suck did-e-ly ucks.

          I do not know what to tell you. Will things get better for the victum or worse with time. Dunno.
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          • #6
            Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

            A little off topic here but if you like to drink and drive then move to New Mexico, Ill even buy you the first beer. We had an article on the news a few months ago where an older man was stopped for reckless driving. He is then arrested for DWI, no insurance, driving with a suspended license and I believe an open container violation. Turns out he has had 27 DWI convictions in the last 20 years!! It gets better. Last week the same guy was arrested again, the reason why? Yup you guessed it DWI. I tell my wife when she asks if I'm ok to drive after having one beer with dinner not to worry. If I do get pulled over and arrested for DWI I'll probably be out of jail and at the house before her. This place is a joke.







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            • #7
              Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

              What is the deal with this chronic DUI stuff only to have the repeat afinder T-Bone a family and destroy them and they are uninjured. I mean call me a conspiracy therist, but do the billion dollar alchol companies lobbying congress to keep their favorite customers out on the street or something?

              Do not get me wrong i think Booze should be legal and that everybody has the right to destroy his liver with drinking a 12 pack nightly, (they should be last in line for a liver though) but lets get these pricks off the streeet already.
              The Dems and G.O.P. have been in control for the last 100 plus years so we know they are not going to do jack crap.

              nice sordavie quote. Here is the deal, Americans population is lacking the common sence it had in the past, particulaly its consern with Federal Power and Red Tape. We are slowing heading into a fascuist government with every law that is past. Strong nationlist pride and corporations in command are the hallmarks of facsisim. it is very slowly happening.
              (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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              • #8
                Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

                Fascism huh..... I wonder how long it will be before the Reich is reborn.........







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                • #9
                  Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

                  It's just a matter of time before one of these guys kills someone's father, mother, or child.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

                    Indeed MJM, jk.

                    Edit: The Magna carter was introduced in 1215 not 1619, and had nothing to do with the Puritans. What i meant to say was that it was the Pilgrims with the Mayflower Compact. Their common sence laws for like less than 50 people has changed a lot in almost 400 years.
                    (PO3) Marcinko_R. (BF2 PR .509) Squad Member
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                    • #11
                      Re: Massachusetts is too lenient on criminals

                      When I was in Vermont once (1995 or so), I was hit by a guy who was attempting to pass me at high speed on a dark highway in a blizzard. It was hard to even stay in a single lane, forget passing. I was incredibly lucky, and he just caromed off of the side of my little Tercel and flew off the road where I presumed he was dead.

                      After he emerged from his wreck (alive and unhurt!) on someone's front lawn and the state troopers came, we found out that he was drunk, he had a suspended license, he had no insurance, and he had borrowed the van.

                      I never got to hear if anything happened to him, but it seemed unlikely when 6 months later my insurance company finally obtained the police report. The drawing on the report had the two vehicles swapped, so that it quite clearly said I had crashed into HIM and had flown into the ditch. Good work, officer, your attention to detail was very helpful.

                      Luckily for me, the damage on my car told the story clearly enough and the insurance folks just gave up and paid me.
                      Peace through fear... since 1947!

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