The Supreme Judicial Court Rules Committee Invites Public Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rule 12 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure

In April 2012, the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure invited comments on proposed amendments to Rules 12 and 29 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure. After reviewing the comments received and in consultation with the Court's Rules Committee, the Standing Advisory Committee revised its proposed recommendations to Rule 12 and withdrew its recommendations regarding Rule 29.

The Rules Committee of the Supreme Judicial Court now publishes the revised proposed Rule 12 for public comment. As set forth in proposed Rule 12 and the accompanying proposed Reporter's Notes, the amendments to Rule 12 provide for plea agreements that, if accepted by the court, bind the court to impose the agreed sentence or sentence within the agreed sentencing range. Proposed Rule 12 additionally provides that a judge may participate in plea discussions at the request of one or both of the parties if the discussions are recorded and made part of the record.

The Rules Committee welcomes all comments pertaining to the issues raised by this proposal.  Comments should be directed to Attorney Christine Burak at or at the Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston MA 02108, on or before May 7th, 2014. Comments received will be made available to the public.  

Proposed Rule 12 pdf format of Proposed Rule 12

Reporter's Notes pdf format of Reporter's Notes - Rule 12