Zoom Criminal Hearings Constitutional, Mass. Top Court Rules

By Rachel Scharf (May 5, 2021, 6:46 PM EDT) -- Massachusetts' top court held Wednesday that evidentiary hearings can be conducted virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic without violating a criminal defendant's state and constitutional rights, ruling on an issue of first impression for the Bay State.

The decision by the Supreme Judicial Court comes as courts nationwide are grappling with novel legal issues related to hearings conducted over Zoom and other electronic platforms. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of the state's virtual grand jury program, while other appellate courts in Michigan, Minnesota and Florida have blessed the use of virtual evidentiary hearings. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh...

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