Commonwealth v. Louraine

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SYLLABUS: The defendant at a murder trial, who had raised an insanity defense, was entitled to have the jury observe his demeanor in an unmedicated condition, and, where the Commonwealth was permitted, over his objection, to administer antipsychotic medication to him which visibly affected his demeanor and mental processes at trial, he was denied his right to a fair trial as guaranteed by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and art. 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. [32-38]
At a murder trial in which the defendant had claimed insanity, it was error for the judge to admit in evidence certain statements by the defendant to police, made at a time when he was neither in custody nor under suspicion, in the absence of [***2] findings by the judge that the statements were voluntary and were the product of a rational intellect. [38-40]
At the retrial of an indictment for murder in the first degree defense counsel would have the burden of requesting jury instructions concerning the effect of the defendant’s drug use with respect to deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. [40]
Evidence at a murder trial was sufficient to warrant the jury in finding the defendant guilty of first degree murder on the theory of premeditation, assuming that they found him to be legally sane. [40-41]

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