WILLIAM M. TYREE VS. COMMONWEALTH
[Post-Conviction Relief, “Gatekeeper”]
The petitioner, William M. Tyree, was convicted of murder in the first degree in 1980. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction on appeal. Since then, Tyree has filed numerous post-conviction motions in the trial court as well as various applications and petitions in county court.
In his most recent petition, Tyree asked the Court to compel a judge in the trial court to act on then-pending motions for post-conviction relief. The motion in question was described by Tyree as a “military jurisdictional matter”. At the time of Tyree’s conviction, he and the victim as well as his wife were enlisted in the United States Army.
The trial court judge acted on and denied the post-conviction motions, including the “military jurisdictional matter” on November 5, 2018.
The Court ruled that because the trial court judge had acted on Tyree’s post-conviction motions, his request for relief asking the court to compel the judge to act was moot.
The Court reasoned that in his filings Tyree acknowledges his request for relief is moot by not seeking relief from the single justice’s denial of the petition, but by seeking review of, and relief from, the trial court judge’s rulings on the post-conviction motions.
The Court concluded that the proper avenue for Tyree to seek relief would be through filing an application with a single justice of the county court for leave to appeal based on the so-called “gatekeeper provision” in which a single justice serves as a “gatekeeper” and may grant appeal for the conviction for the appeal to go forward or decline a request for leave to appeal.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
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Source: William M. Tyree vs. Commonwealth, SJC-12644