400 Mass. 1006

July 13, 1987

Frank L. Kozol (Thomas C. Bailey with him) for the defendant.

Eric B. Carriker, Assistant Attorney General (Richard Allen, Assistant Attorney General, with him) for the Attorney General.

The issue in this case is the same as that presented in Attorney Gen. v. Weymouth Agricultural & Indus. Soc'y (Weymouth) ante 475 (1987). The applicable legal principles are the same and, although there are certain factual variations (for example the Brockton Agricultural Society [Brockton] was established in 1874 under G.S. c. 66, Section 17 [1860]), none of the differences is legally significant.

This action, which was here earlier on a procedural matter (Attorney Gen. v. Brockton Agricultural Soc'y, 390 Mass. 431 [1983]), was decided on the merits on a record similar in origin and composition to the record in the Weymouth case. The judge ruled that Brockton was not a public charity, and summary judgment was entered in its favor. We affirm the judgment.

Brockton was organized to promote and encourage "the material prosperity of this community in every form of productive industry, in the cultivation of the soil, in the rearing and improving of domestic animals, in the mechanic arts, and in whatever pertains to these." These purposes sound more like those of a chamber of commerce than those expressed in the corporate purposes of Weymouth. Like Weymouth, Brockton was not created by gifts for a charitable purpose. It was not organized with the intention of foreclosing personal advantage to its stockholders. There is no evidence Brockton has ever solicited or received charitable gifts.

Judgment affirmed.


400 Mass. 1006

August 4, 1987

D. Lloyd Macdonald for the defendant.

Judy G. Zeprun, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

For reasons set forth in the opinion of the Appeals Court, Commonwealth v. Childs, 23 Mass. App. Ct. 33, 35-39 (1986), the majority of the court holds that a new trial is required.

Judgment reversed.

Verdict set aside.


400 Mass. 1006

August 12, 1987

Harvey R. Peters for the defendant.

James W. Sahakian, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

On April 23, 1987, this court issued an opinion in the case of Commonwealth v. Waters, 399 Mass. 708 (1987). After the release of this opinion,

Page 1007

the defendant petitioned this court for a rehearing. The court denied the petition. The defendant argued that relief for him is required under Griffith v. Kentucky, (479 U.S. 314 [1987]), which was decided after this case was argued before this court. He correctly observed that his prior appeal was pending on direct appeal when Commonwealth v. Allen, 395 Mass. 448 (1985), was decided, and argues that he is therefore entitled to the benefit of the new rule established in Allen. Id. at 456. We have considered memoranda of the parties as to the effect of Griffith, and we disagree with the defendant's argument. Griffith, supra at 328, states that "a new rule for the conduct of criminal prosecutions is to be applied retroactively to all cases, state or federal, pending on direct review or not yet final, with no exception for cases in which the new rule constitutes a `clear break' with the past." From our reading of Griffith, we conclude that this holding is ancillary to the constitutional rule of Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), and is not based on equal protection or due process grounds. Accordingly, Griffith does not require this court to give retroactive application to rules that are not based on the Federal Constitution. We have further considered whether the Griffith principle has force by analogy, because all new rules raise the concern of treating otherwise similarly situated defendants (on direct appeal) even-handedly. Our analysis of retroactivity includes consideration of the fairness of denying defendants the benefit of a new rule: whether the new rule goes to the heart of the truth-finding function, raising doubts about the accuracy of guilty verdicts in past cases. Moreover, the defendant in Allen did not receive a new trial based on the rule announced in that case; hence, the defendant in this case cannot argue on that ground that he has received unequal treatment. Accordingly, we denied the defendant's petition for a rehearing.