Commonwealth
v.
Turpin

Appeals Court of Massachusetts.Jun 22, 2012
969 N.E.2d 748 (Mass. App. Ct. 2012)
969 N.E.2d 74882 Mass. App. Ct. 1103

No. 11–P–228.

2012-06-22

COMMONWEALTH v. Asa TURPIN.


By the Court (GREEN, GRAINGER & RUBIN, JJ.).


MEMORANDUM AND ORDER PURSUANT TO RULE 1:28

The defendant asks us to overturn the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling in Commonwealth v. Melendez–Diaz, 460 Mass. 238 (2011), that Melendez–Diaz v. Massachusetts, 129 S.Ct. 2527 (2009), does not apply retroactively on collateral appeal. We decline to adopt the defendant's argument.

Hereinafter, Melendez–Diaz II.


Hereinafter, Melendez–Diaz I.


The defendant was convicted in December, 2006, by a jury of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, G.L. c. 94C, § 32A( c ), and distributing drugs in a school zone, G.L. c. 94C, § 32J. The defendant was also convicted in December, 2006, in a jury-waived trial of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, subsequent offense, G.L. c. 94C, § 32A( d ). This court upheld the defendant's convictions on November 12, 2008, and the Supreme Judicial Court denied the defendant's application for further appellate review on January 29, 2009. The defendant's motion for a new trial was denied on December 22, 2010. “[T]he rule announced in Melendez–Diaz [I], as it relates to the applicability of the confrontation clause to certificates of chemical analysis (drug certificates), is a ‘new’ rule within the meaning of Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989)[,] ... and, as such, is not available to the defendant in this appeal from the denial of his motion for a new trial.” Melendez–Diaz II, supra at 239–240. Furthermore, it is beyond this court's authority to alter or “overrule a decision of the Supreme Judicial Court or to decline to follow the holding of that court's opinions.” Commonwealth v. Dube, 59 Mass.App.Ct. 476, 485 (2003).

Order denying motion for new trial affirmed.