Judge Sinnott’s Overreach Put in Check by SJC Justice Gaziano

SJC Justice rules in favor of Suffolk District Attorney Rollins in feud with Boston Municipal Court Judge

As reported by the Boston Globe, on Monday, September 9, 2019, a Supreme Judicial Court justice handed Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins a major victory, ruling that Boston Municipal Court Judge Richard Sinnott III had, “no authority,” to force Rollins to push ahead with the prosecution of a Straight Pride protestor. 

SJC Justice Frank M. Gaziano, a former state and federal prosecutor, wrote that Sinnott’s efforts to force Rollins to prosecute Roderick Webber infringed upon the separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive branch, in this case, a county prosecutor.

“The prosecutor’s sole authority to determine which case to prosecute, and when not to pursue a prosecution, has been affirmed repeatedly by this court since the beginning of the nineteenth century,” Gaziano wrote, citing an SJC case from 1806.