Showing posts with label qualified immunity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label qualified immunity. Show all posts

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Mass News Items of Note: 'qualified immunity' sharply divides commission; Allen unveils a 'democracy agenda'


"A SHARPLY DIVIDED commission established to study qualified immunity – a controversial legal doctrine that shields police officers and other public employees from liability from civil lawsuits – is recommending that lawmakers not change the law for at least two years.  
But the commission did recommend two changes that could make it easier for people to bring civil lawsuits against public employees in state courts, even with the qualified immunity doctrine unchanged. "
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"DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL candidate Danielle Allen unveiled a democracy agenda on Wednesday, outlining a host of initiatives to encourage greater voter participation and civic involvement and reduce the influence of money in politics.

Some of the proposals are part of the current debate on Beacon Hill — same-day voter registration, the establishment of Indigenous People’s Day as a state holiday, the creation of a new state flag, and allowing communities to embrace ranked-choice voting and a lower voting age without state approval."
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Allen led the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship to produce a report "Our Common Purpose 

Her gubernatorial campaign ->

Allen unveils a 'democracy agenda'
Allen unveils a 'democracy agenda'

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Public comment on qualified immunity requested - hearing on Friday, Aug 20

The Special Commission on Qualified Immunity will host a virtual public comment meeting on Friday, August 20, at 11 a.m. to give members of the public an opportunity to share their views on qualified immunity and its impact on the administration of justice in the Commonwealth. This will provide everyone an opportunity to share their perspectives with the Commission as it works its way through the various provisions of the charge from the reform legislation passed last year. 

The public hearing will be livestreamed on the Commonwealth’s website at To register to testify, individuals must provide contact information on this Form ( by 5:00 p.m. on August 19, 2021. Written testimony may be submitted by e-mail to or by mail to Qualified Immunity Commission, 24 Beacon Street, Room 136, Boston, Massachusetts 02133. 

The legal doctrine of qualified immunity is a complex one and legal scholars do not all agree on its application, which is why Rep. Roy filed an amendment (#204) (link below) that created the special legislative commission to study the origins and interpretation of qualified immunity. The precise language that was adopted can be found by clicking here (link below).  

Over the past few months, the Commission has heard from academic experts, studied the impacts of Chapter 253 of the Acts of 2020 (commonly referred to as the “Police Reform Law”) on the doctrine, and reviewed recent legislation passed in other states and jurisdictions relative to qualified immunity. 

To learn more about the members of the Commission, review documents discussed by the commission and read the charge please visit its website at

Download a copy of the PDF for this press release

Public comment on qualified immunity requested  - hearing on Friday, Aug 20
Public comment on qualified immunity requested  - hearing on Friday, Aug 20

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Opinion | Why reforming qualified immunity will never resolve police violence - The Washington Post

"As lawmakers in Congress negotiate their long-awaited police reform bill, Democrats are sticking firm to their conviction that the legislation must include some type of reform of qualified immunity — the legal protections that make suing individual police officers for misconduct nearly impossible. For many on the left, that raises an important question: To what extent should they be willing to compromise on reforming the law?

It’s the wrong question to ask. As a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, from sheriff’s deputy to chief and director of public safety, I firmly believe that nothing federal, state or local governments do about qualified immunity will significantly reduce or increase the incidence of unjustified deadly force by police. Real reform requires us to go much deeper than tweaking tort rules."


"A far better strategy would be to eliminate the risk of ending up in court. Just imagine what local and state governments could accomplish if they were to invest the money they spend on misconduct lawsuits on making policing more humane and more effective. They could better train officers in de-escalation tactics to reduce the likelihood of lethal violence. And they could train officers to use effective alternatives to lethal force and to deal with mentally disturbed people safely. Doing so would improve the public perception that the police have earned their authority from the community and that they use it to serve and protect, not to punish. Officers and agencies need to learn and embrace procedural justice — the idea that the processes by which police officers resolve disputes and police agencies allocate resources are fundamentally fair."

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