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In re McDonough
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
930 N.E.2d 1279 (2010)
A defendant was charged with indecent assault of Ruby McDonough. At the defendant’s criminal trial, the prosecution called McDonough to testify as a witness. The defense objected to the testimony on the ground that McDonough was not competent to testify. Specifically, McDonough had suffered a stroke, which impaired her ability to speak. Neither the prosecution nor McDonough requested a reasonable accommodation to allow her to testify. The trial judge found McDonough incompetent to testify, ruling that McDonough’s testimony would not permit the defense a full right of meaningful cross-examination. The prosecution did not appeal this ruling. McDonough, however, as the witness, filed a petition for interlocutory review, asserting that the judge’s competency ruling violated her rights.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, C.J.)
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