Hagen v. Commonwealth

772 N.E.2d 32 (2002)

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Hagen v. Commonwealth

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
772 N.E.2d 32 (2002)

Facts

James Kelly was charged in April 1987 and convicted in October 1987 of raping, assaulting, and robbing Debra Hagen (plaintiff). In April 1988, Kelly was sentenced to serve two concurrent 10-year prison terms and one concurrent five-year term. Kelly’s motions for the stay of execution of sentence pending appeal and for a new trial were granted. The court denied Kelly’s motion for a new trial nearly four years later. Kelly appealed. Because of record deficiencies, the appeal was vacated in 1996. The commonwealth (defendant) discovered during a routine review that no action was taken between 1997 and 2000. In February 2001, the commonwealth moved to revoke the stay of execution of Kelly’s sentence. In May, Hagen moved for revocation of the stay of execution of sentence or a warrant for Kelly to be taken into custody. Hagen argued that the delay in the execution of sentence violated her right to a prompt disposition under the Massachusetts victims’ bill of rights. The court denied Hagen’s motion because she was not a party but permitted Hagen’s counsel to address the court on the commonwealth’s revocation motion. The court denied the commonwealth’s motion. Hagen petitioned the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for review of the order denying her standing to seek revocation of the stay of execution of sentence. A single justice denied Hagen’s motion because Hagen was not a party to the proceedings. On appeal, Hagen argued that under the Massachusetts victims’ bill of rights, she had the right to a prompt disposition of Kelly’s case, and that the deprivation of that right violated her constitutional due-process rights.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cordy, J.)

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