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Biden Judicial Nominee Signs Letter Demanding Elimination of Arrests For Crimes Including Assault and Battery, Breaking and Entering

District Court Nominee Initially Failed to Disclose Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s nominee to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, Brian Murphy, as a Member of a Board of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL), sent a letter that advocates for radical anti-police and soft-on-crime policies, including the elimination of arrests for crimes like assault and battery and breaking and entering. Although he disclaims knowledge of the letter, Murphy was on the MACDL Board of Directors when the letter was sent in June 2020 and his name is listed on the letterhead. He failed to disclose the letter on his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire as required.

The letter was sent to the Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state’s highest appellate court. Murphy served on the MACDL Board of Directors for ten years and as treasurer for eight years.

In response to questions for the record from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Murphy apologized to the committee for the omission.

Read Graham’s questions for the record HERE.

Excerpts from the letter:

  • Argues to eliminate arrests for many crimes: “The headlines are flooded with violence by police officers against Black citizens at the time of arrest — a flashpoint that could be wholly avoided by changing the rules to require court summonses for all misdemeanors and non-violent offenses. This would not only eliminate arrests for all alleged minor infractions such as using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes, as happened to George Floyd, but also for fraught and unnecessary police encounters involving possessory offenses, assault and battery, breaking and entering, and similar offenses.”
  • Accuses police officers of “often” filing false charges to cover for police brutality: Eliminating arrests for most crimes “would not only prevent a majority of the police violence against Black lives, but would dramatically reduce false complaints of resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer—charges that are often a smoke screen for police brutality.”
  • Suggests that people of different races are not “peers” before the law: “Rules regarding the composition of the [jury pool] should be amended so that defendants can be tried before peers from their community rather than a county-wide jury that too often lacks racial diversity.”
  • To implement these radical proposals, the MACDL Board of Directors announces: “We stand ready to help.”

MACDL letter on June 15, 2020.