The Judge who wanted to be fully informed

Nov 1976: Roxbury District Court Judge Elwood McKenney, presiding over a cocaine possession case, announced that he would need to try cocaine himself before he made his ruling... in order to be able to make an informed decision. He recessed the trial until he had done so.

Palo Alto Times - Nov 2, 1976

Judge Elwood McKenney

About a month later, McKenney abandoned his decision to try cocaine, saying that all the publicity about it had distorted his intent.

But he then proceeded to rule that the Massachusetts statutes forbidding the possession of cocaine were unconstitutional.

Obviously his ruling must have been dismissed or overturned at some point, otherwise cocaine would now be legal in Massachusetts. But I haven't been able to figure out when that happened.

Boston Globe - Dec 11, 1976

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 18, 2024
     Category: Drugs | Law | Judges | 1970s

The second paragraph on the continuation page says that because it was a low-level court, his ruling did not set a precedent.
Posted by ges on 01/18/24 at 03:38 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.