Over the last several years, it has become increasingly common to send or request nude or intimate images in the context of personal relationships. However, it is important that all parties to sexting and similar activities be consenting adults. (Sexual photos of minors under 18 are considered child pornography under state and federal law, much to the surprise of many teenagers.) If a former romantic partner, hacker, or other individual distributes such photos without consent, or threatens to do so, the subject of the photo is considered a victim of “sextortion” or “revenge porn.” Different states have adopted different approaches to these phenomena, and past proposed legislation in Massachusetts on this subject has not passed, leaving revenge porn victims with few options in this Commonwealth.
This is a follow up to a previous blog about clemency: you can read that post here.
Last month, Governor Maura Healey recommended seven individuals to the Governor’s Council for pardons and on July 19, 2023, the Governor’s Council unanimously voted in favor of all seven pardons. A pardon is complete forgiveness of the underlying convicted offense, which erases the crime from an individual’s criminal record. These pardons make Governor Healey the first Governor in Massachusetts in over thirty years to successfully grant pardons during her first year elected. These seven pardons also mark the highest number of pardons granted by a Massachusetts Governor in their first term in over forty years.
Considerable data shows that police stop Black people in the U.S. much more frequently than white people. At least some of these stops are motivated by racial profiling, implicit or explicit, in violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. But how, in practice, can a Black defendant establish that the stop in his or her case was racially motivated—and use this fact to defeat a criminal charge?