Wrongly Convicted Database Record

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Peter L. Parenteau


Years Imprisoned:

Charge:

License Revocation

Sentence:

1 year in jail, sixty days to be served and the balance suspended for two years with probation

Year Convicted:

2009

Year Cleared:

2011

Location of Trial:

Massachusetts

Result:

Judicially Exonerated (either after completion of sentence or while released on appeal)

Summary of Case:

Peter L. Parenteau was wrongly convicted in 2009 in Palmer, Massachusetts of driving after license revocation. After his conviction by a jury he was sentenced to one year in jail, sixty days to be served and the balance suspended for two years with probation. On June 10, 2011 Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court overturned Parenteau's conviction, ruling that a certificate routinely issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles cannot be used as evidence in court that individuals have been notified that their license has been suspended or revoked. The SJC said the introduction of the certificate in a Middlesex County case violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses testifying against him. 'We conclude that the registry certificate, like a certificate of drug analysis, is testimonial in nature,' the court said. 'It is a solemn declaration made by the registrar for the purpose of establishing the fact that a notice of license revocation was mailed.' The SJC's ruling was based on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in 2009 in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts that drug-testing experts are required to testify — and be available for cross-examination — about their findings in court.

Conviction Caused By:

The prosecution improperly introduced a business record without it being authenticated by the person who prepared it.

Innocence Proved By:

On June 10, 2011 Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court overturned Parenteau's conviction.

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Was Perpetrator Found?

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Information Source 1:

Commonwealth vs. Peter L. Parenteau, SJC-10763 (MA SJC, 6-10-2011)

Information Location 1:

http://www.universalhub.com/2011/commonwealth-vs-peter-l-parenteau

Information Source 2:

SJC overturns ’09 conviction, By Martin Finucane (staff), Boston Globe, June 11, 2011

Information Location 2:

http://articles.boston.com/2011-06-11/news/29647755_1_registry-revocation-license

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org