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August 31, 2012

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Page 6 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 31,2012 David J. Saliba Attorney at Law Does the judge have the authority to reduce a plea agreement sentence? COMMONWEALTH vs. MARCOS RODRIGUEZ SJC-10825 SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS 960 N.E.2d 245 September 7, 2011, Argued * January 12, 2012, Decided Background. The defen- dant was charged with possession of a Class B sub- stance (oxycodone) with intent to distribute, in vio- lation of G. L. c. 94C, 32A, and possession of a Class D substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute, in violation of G. L. c. 94C, 32C (a).2On November 19, 2009, the prosecutor and the defendant, through his attorney, entered into a plea agreement. Under the agree- ment, the Commonwealth would not seek indictments on these charges, the defen- dant would plead guilty to the two charges in the Boston Municipal Court Department, and the defen- dant would agree to the Commonwealth's sentenc- ing recommendation of con- current committed terms of two and one-half years in a house of correction. That same day, the judge accepted the defendant's guilty plea and sentenced the defendant in accordance with the plea agreement. However, the judge later questioned whether the sentences he imposed were unfairly se- vere, and on his own motion ordered a hearing under rule 29 (a) on January 6, 20 i0, to consider whether the sen- tences should be revised or revoked. Immediately after the hearing, the judge re- vised and revoked the sen- tences, and sentenced the defendant to concurrent terms of two years in the house of correc'Jon, with one year to serve md the bal- ance suspened for two years. The proecutor moved to reconsider, }ut the judge did not act on ;he motion. In other words the judge reduced the plea agreement sentence. The prosecutor appealed. The court said: the judge has the authority to reduce the sentence. K3  Fully Insured Lic #017936 Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation Ken Shallow 617.593.6211 kenskjs @ The court said: It is not un- fair to the Commonwealth to allow a judge to revise a sen- tence where justice other- wise "may not have been done." The defendant did not obtain a lesser sentence through a breach of the plea agreement; the defendant presented the agreed recom- mendation to the judge and did not move to revise or re- voke under Rule 29. And the Commonwealth obtained what it bargained for: the defendant pleaded guilty and agreed to the prosecutor's recommendation. The Com- monwealth should have rec- ognized that its agreed rec- ommendation was made "with the specific under- standing that the recom- mendation shall not be bind- ing upon the court." Conclusion: The case is remanded to the county court for the entry of a judg- ment denying the Common- wealth's petition. So ordered. This case says that the judge does not have to accept a plea agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor. call 617-227-8929. Saint Monica by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari A Saint well known to mothers who have prayed unceasingly for the welfare of their children is Saint Monica. Little is known of Monica's early life. We know that she was born of Chris- tian parents at Tagaste, in North Africa in the year 333. Monica was given by her par- ents in marriage to a man named Patritius who was a pagan and said to have had a violent temper. Three chil- dren were born of their mar- riage, Augustine being the eldest, Navigius the second and a daughter Perpetua. Patricius would not allow their children to be baptized, but when Augustine fell ill he relented only to withdraw his consent on Augustine's recovery. Augustine was sent to Madaura for his early education. Monica became increasingly anxious for her son who was wayward and, as he himself tells us, lazy. It was during this period that Patritius became a Chris- tian as a result of the virtu- ous life of his wife, Monica; he died one year after being received into the Church. Augustine, in order to fur- ther his studies, was sent to Carthage where he became a student of rhetoric. It was while at Carthage that he became a Manichean, when later he returned home and proclaimed the heretical be- liefs of the Manicheans, Monica rebuked him. She then consulted with a bishop who famously consoled her by saying to her, "the child of those tears shall never perish." Monica followed Augustine to Rome, on her arrival she learned he had departed for Milan. She then followed him to Milan where she came in contact with Saint Ambrose. Through his influ- ence on Augustine, her prayers were answered, and after seventeen years of re- sistance, Augustine finally relented and was baptized on Easter eve at Milan in the church of St. John the Bap- tist in 387. Soon after, Monica and Augustine set out for Africa, stopping at Civit Vecchia and at Ostia where she became ill and passed away. It was as a re- sult of the emotions he ex- perienced at her passing that he wrote some of the fm- est pages of his incompa- rable work "The Confessions of Saint Augustine". Saint Monica's feast day is August 27; she is the Patroness of Mothers. JUSTINE YANDLE PHOTOGRAPHY 78t .589.7347 JU STINE.YANDLE@GMAIL.COM g%V.J USTINEYANDLEPH OTOGRAPHY.COM PRESENTED BY i / Volu nteer M atch .org 9 Where volunteering begins. 5 3 1 8 4 1 6 4 5 2 7 2 6 StatcPoint Media Fill in the blank squares in the grid, making sure that every row, column and 3-by-3 box includes all digits I through 9. (Solution on Page 10) 2 6 3 9 2 5