Robert F. Shaw, Jr. named a 2012 Lawyer of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

"A rap video shouldn't tip the scales when a man is on trial for murder. That's what Robert F. Shaw, Jr.'s inner sense of justice told him. And that's why the 45 year old Cambridge attorney was so gratified when he succeeded in convincing the Supreme Judicial Court to overturn the first degree murder conviction of Lamory Gray last November." 

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K. ZEZIMA AND B. CAREY, NEW YORK TIMES, Ex-Priest Challenges Abuse Conviction on Repressed Memories

"You have prominent scientists, psychologists and psychiatrists saying this is not generally accepted. So why allow it in a court of law in a criminal proceeding?" Mr. Shanley's lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr., asked the state's highest court Thursday.

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Laurel J. Sweet, Boston Herald, Court orders new trial in gang murder case

"It's one of the most concerning cases I have ever handled in my career. It's one that can keep you up nights," Shaw said. "It is the fundamental right to challenge evidence that is being presented against you. This decision affirms that criminal trials in this Commonwealth must be fair. Nobody benefits when the government seeks to win without due regard for fairness."

[Shaw] also protested the impact Gray's brief appearance in a rap video was made to have on the jury. "Imagine what a problem it is when the government scours the internet, finds a music video in which a defendant appears and then utilizes that video and all of its imagery -- which is a form of artistic expression -- to argue to the jury that Mr. Gray is a gang member with the intent to kill," Shaw said. "No one believes that Bob Marley shot the sheriff, but did not shoot the deputy. It raises issues of constitutional rights to association and freedom of expression." 

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Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, Boston man gets new trial in students killing

Robert F. Shaw, Jr., Gray's lawyer, said he was pleased with the decision. He said he found it "enormously concerning" that the rap video was introduced at the trial. "No one believes that 'I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy' by Bob Marley is a statement of actual fact," Shaw said. "The fact that rap music is a certain genre of music and involves the typical gangster character with exaggerated lyrics does not mean that somebody who expresses that as part of a rap video song is making a statement of fact and intention about themselves."

Shaw said the defense also should have been allowed to tell the jury about Jamison's failure to identify Gray in a photo array. "If they are going to be permitted to use statements of identification, the defense must be permitted in a trial that is fundamentally fair to introduce available contrary evidence which demonstrates the exact opposite," Shaw said.

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SHELLEY MURPHY, BOSTON GLOBE, JUDGE ORDERS NEW TRIAL FOR MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING 10-YEAR-OLD IN 2002

Cambridge attorney Robert F. Shaw, Jr., who has been representing Cousin for the past seven years, said the judge's ruling vacating Cousin's conviction was based on a thorough review of the evidence and vigorous court hearings.

"There was a substantial and very disturbing conflict of interest that was bright as day," said Shaw, adding that police initially failed to disclose that a key witness had implicated others in Persad's killing and withheld fingerprint evidence pointing to another suspect. "This was an unjust conviction," Shaw said. 

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Bob MCGOVERN, BOSTON HERALD, RETRIAL SLATED FOR MAN CONVICTED IN GIRL'S '02 SLAY 

Shaw said that wasn't the case. "He [the attorney] did not make a disclosure to Joseph Cousin. The judge so found in her decision," he said. "Even of he had mentioned something about this, he did not disclose a conflict of interest."

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boston herald, court tosses conviction of woman in minivan slaying

The highest court in Massachusetts has reversed the first-degree murder conviction of a woman for her alleged role in the fatal shooting of a Lawrence man.

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Boston, Associated Press, Brockton woman gets retrial in boyfriends slaying

Anestal's lawyer, Robert F. Shaw, Jr., says the decision affirms that trial proceedings should be grounded in fairness.

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Boston Globe, Martin Finucane, SJC Orders Resentencing for Man Convicted as Juvenile in Roxbury Slaying

Attorney Robert F. Shaw, Jr. , Ray's attorney, said Ray's convictions should have been thrown out.

 "We respect the supreme judicial court and we vigorously disagree with this decision. The judgments in this case should have been reversed. As for the District Attorney's public declarations of the gang involvement, they are completely unfounded and contradict what prosecutors have represented in court for nearly a decade," Shaw said in a statement.

 Shaw, on the other hand, said he was pleased that " the blind, automatic sentence of life without parole no longer has force and effect in Mr. Ray's case."

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Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, Supreme Court to hear appeal of two convicted in Chinatown massacre, five were killed in 1991 shooting

Tham’s lawyer argues in his appeal that the trial prosecutor pressured the jury to convict the men by referring to the crime as one of the worst in Boston’s history and telling jurors they would write the final chapter of a story that then spanned nearly 15 years.

“The prosecutor’s theme improperly conveyed a false picture of personal obligation to bring closure after 15 years of government effort, driven by harm of historical significance to the Boston community,’’ Tham’s appellate attorney, Robert F. Shaw Jr., argues in his appeal.

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Cox, Lauren, Ex-Priest Questions Repressed Memories, ABC News

"It's a very difficult issue for people to understand because you have a group of people who say this exists, you also have a large group of people to say that it has not been established," said Robert F Shaw Jr., Shanley's attorney.  ....

Shaw said, "We are not talking about not thinking about something and later remembering it and we're not talking about somebody who has some memory distortion and then can't remember part of a experience later. We are talking about somebody who was in a concentration camp and then forgot it ever happened." 

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ABC TV, Australia, False Memory, Based Upon Case of Commonwealth v. Shanley

"The only evidence against him was 'repressed memory.'  I didn't think that should be permitted."

[Note: This is a fourteen minute science program exploring false memory and the "memory wars."]

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Jonathan Saltzman,  SJC bans prosecutors from reward programs, Boston Globe

Miranda's appellate lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr. of Cambridge, was disappointed that the SJC allowed his client's verdict to stand, despite forbidding prosecutors from participating in rewards tied to testimony that ends in a conviction. ...

He said he had no objection to programs that reward tipsters for information that leads to arrests. But the Chamber's program, he said, gave witnesses an incentive to tailor their testimony to help prosecutors win a conviction.

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New England Cable News, September 10, 2009

"We have an individual who says that he was repeatedly abused week after week after week for a period of years, after every abuse he forgot it again, walked into it again, and then for 20 years thereafter, he was completely oblivious."  The judgments should be reversed because, "You have a citizem who was prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned based upon inadmissible evidence."

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Charis Anderson, SJC rebukes DA for participating in witness reward program, South Coast Today

Robert F. Shaw Jr., Miranda's attorney, said he thought the conviction-contingent rewards paid to two of the prosecution's witnesses were the most troubling aspect of the case.

"The process by which someone like Wayne Miranda is prosecuted and convicted has to be a fair process," he said.

"To be holding out cash incentives to government witnesses, conditioned upon there being an outcome that the government wants, we think it's fundamentally unfair and tainted this entire proceeding."

Shaw said he was in the process of conducting a thorough analysis of the SJC's ruling.

"We'll be evaluating all of our options for pursuing it further," he said. "We feel quite strongly that the outcome was wrong."

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Associated Press, Mass. court: DAs cant participate in rewards, by Denise Lavoie

Miranda's lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr., argued that the contingent monetary rewards violated Miranda's due process rights. He sought a new trial in which the testimony of the two witnesses would be excluded. ...

"Now, clearly the Supreme Judicial Court agrees that this is wrong and that it should not happen, and they have made clear that it will not happen in the future, but that doesn't help Mr. Miranda, who has been subjected to a process in which this occurred," Shaw said. 

"These witnesses go into the trial understanding that if they testify in a manner to get a conviction, they get paid cash," he said.

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WHDH Channel 7 News, September 10, 2009

"Repressed memory is a theorized phenomenon. It is not accepted by the scientific community."

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WBZ Channel 38 News

"It is improper, and highly prejudicial, and very unfair to admit this kind of evidence, in a criminal proceeding to prosecute and imprison an individual." 


Saltzman, Jon, Repressed memory at issue in defrocked priests appeal, Boston Globe

"Overwhelming evidence proves that the theory of 'repressed memory' is not generally accepted by the relevant scientific community on multiple grounds and that the commonwealth's experts provided misleading junk science testimony that should not have been admitted in a judicial proceeding,'' the lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr. of Cambridge, argues in his brief.

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Wypijewski, JoAnn, Crisis of Faith, The Nation Magazine 

"When the Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments in May, it will consider the issues that, without the impedimenta of panic and prejudice, always made this a case about due process and equal treatment under the law. Shanley's new lawyer, Robert Shaw Jr., is not asking the court to divine Busa's veracity or even to determine that the hypothesis of repressed memory is, finally, true or false. That, he asserts, is the function of scientific research. To date, the research shows that the hypothesis is unproven. And so long as it is unproven, it is inadmissible in court. Shaw argues that Shanley had ineffective counsel on this and other matters, and he is seeking a new trial."

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Ellement, John, SJC orders new trial for former South Shore girls soccer coach, Boston Globe

"Arana’s appellate attorney, Robert F. Shaw, Jr., applauded the court’s decision because the trial “that occurred was very unfair … Jose Arana is entitled to a fair trial; he’s entitled to basic, fundamental fairness. The multiple and excessive errors in this case deprived him of a constitutional right to a fair proceeding.’’

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Lavoie, Denise, Ex-soccer coach gets new trial in Mass. rape case, Associated Press

Arana's lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr., said he was gratified by the court's ruling. 

"In this case, we had a trial that involved people coming in and testifying not only about what accuser said, but the way she said it and her demeanor and their subjective impressions of it," Shaw said. 

"He will now have the opportunity for a fair proceeding."

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NPR, Brady-Myerov, Monica, 'Mass. High Court To Hear Former Priests Appeal' 

[Need Real Audio] Shanley's new lawyer, Robert Shaw, Jr., says the hysteria of the time played into his conviction. "The issue here, now, is really a legal issue, and one has to be able to look at this situation and analyze it without Paul Shanley's name in there because of all of the hysteria, and bias, and misinformation that was so widely spread in the public arena. [T]his is really about fairness. .... Repressed memory is a hypothesized phenomenon, it is not accepted by the scientific community, it is not reliable, it is highly controversial, and it should not be admitted in a court of law."


Murphy, Shelly, SJC to hear appeal by ex-priest in abuse case, Boston Globe

Shaw said, "What we're looking for in this case is a very thorough and honest analysis of the issues."

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Lavoie, Denise, 'Priest in Boston clergy scandal denied new trial', Associated Press

Shanley's lawyer, Robert F. Shaw Jr., said Wednesday he would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Judicial Court. 

"The entire theory of the case ... was that (the victim) completely repressed his memory for 20 years, and that despite memory triggers throughout that period of time, he was not capable of remembering supposed abuse that occurred week after week after week for a period of years," Shaw said. "The evidence not only does not corroborate his claims, it contradicts them," he said.

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Roche, Kerri, Lawyer questions repressed memory science, Daily News Tribune

"Throughout most of yesterday's hearing, Shaw hammered away at Brown and Chu's methodology for gathering information and making their findings."

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New England Cable News, May 29, 2008, 9pm News

"The Commonwealth's entire case, the bridge between accusations on the one hand, and credible accusation on the other, was something called 'repressed memory.'" ... "To rely upon surveys including social workers, hypnotherapists and individuals who are just clinicians, who make observations and then try to extract scientific principles from that - that is junk."

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WHDH Channel 7 News, May 29, 2008

“That is junk. That is called junk science. It is not scientific. It doesn’t involve scientific methodology. It should not be admitted in a court of law,” Robert F. Shaw, Jr., Paul Shanley's attorney, declared.

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Globe Staff, Defrocked Priest Shanley seeks new trial, Boston Globe

"The central issue concerns the fact that there is no scientific support, no empirical support for repressed memory, and it never should have been entered into evidence," said Robert F. Shaw Jr. "It doesn't really matter who it is that comes to the bar to be tried for alleged criminal conduct. Whether it's Paul Shanley or anybody else, people deserve due process and people deserve fairness," Shaw said.

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Priest in Mass. clergy abuse crisis seeks new trial, Associated Press

In his motion for a new trial, Shanley's new attorney, Robert F. Shaw Jr., says the man's memories of the abuse are unreliable. The man testified that he began remembering abuse by the then-priest in 2002, after learning that his childhood friend had recovered memories of abuse by Shanley. ... Shaw argues that Shanley's trial attorney should have presented evidence that the theory of repressed memory is challenged within the scientific community. "There is no solid empirical support for repressed memory," Shaw said Wednesday.

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DEntremonte, Jim, Any Prayer for Shanley? The Guide Magazine 

"Accused, convicted, and sentenced amid unrelentingly lurid media vilification of Roman Catholic clergy, Paul Shanley now appeals for justice" 

“Having looked at every aspect of this case very closely over a considerable period of time,” says Shaw, “I am extraordinarily concerned by what I have seen. I’m left with the firm and unshakable belief that justice was not done.”

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Court overturns conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct, Associated Press

''There were a lot of troubling inconsistencies in the facts and the troubling identity issue, which was not pursued by trial counsel,'' Shaw said. ''We're just delighted with the result.''

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