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  • Acts
  • 1998
  • Chapter 188 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE GRANT OF IMMUNITY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Chapter 233 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 20C, as appearing in the 1996 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 20C. In any investigation or proceeding before a grand jury, or in a criminal proceeding in the supreme judicial court, appeals court or superior court involving any offense listed in section 20D, a witness shall not be excused from testifying or from producing books, papers or other evidence on the ground that the testimony or evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture, if he has been granted immunity with respect to the transactions, matters or things concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence by a justice of the supreme judicial court, appeals court or superior court, as provided in section 20E.

SECTION 2. Section 20D of said chapter 233, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 1, the words "called to testify before a grand jury" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- who is called or who may be called to testify before a grand jury or in a criminal proceeding in the supreme judicial court, appeals court or superior court.

SECTION 3. Said section 20D of said chapter 233, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word "uttering", in line 17, the following words:- , or any felony.

SECTION 4. Said chapter 233 is hereby further amended by striking out section 20E, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 20E. (a) A justice of the supreme judicial court, appeals court or superior court shall, at the request of the attorney general or a district attorney, and after a hearing, issue an order granting immunity to a witness, provided that such justice finds that the investigation or proceeding before the grand jury or the criminal proceeding in the supreme judicial court, appeals court or superior court involves an offense listed in section 20D and that the witness did validly refuse, or is likely to refuse, to answer questions or produce evidence on the grounds that such testimony or such evidence might tend to incriminate him. If such justice so finds, such justice shall order the witness to answer the questions or produce the evidence requested and, if he so orders, such order and the order granting immunity shall be in writing and shall become effective upon the refusal of the witness to answer any question or produce any evidence requested on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination.

(b) The witness shall be entitled to representation by an attorney at the hearing, which shall not be open to the public. The court may appoint counsel for the witness.

(c) An application filed pursuant to this section shall, at the request of the attorney general or a district attorney, act to stay any criminal proceedings in the supreme judicial court, appeals court or superior court, but not grand jury proceedings, until such time as a justice acts upon such application; provided, however, that a justice shall conduct an expedited hearing when such application is brought after the impanelment of a jury in the superior court.

(d) When the attorney general or a district attorney brings such application, he shall, at least three days before the date fixed for hearing on his application, send by certified mail or deliver a copy of such application to the attorney general and to each other district attorney in the commonwealth. The attorney general and any of the district attorneys may waive, either orally or in writing, his right to be served with such application. The attorney general and any such district attorney may file an appearance and have the right to be heard at the hearing as herein provided.

(e) An affidavit of proof of service or, in the alternative, waiver of such service, upon each district attorney and the attorney general shall be filed with the court.

(f) A transcript shall be made of the proceedings at the hearing and a certified copy of said transcript shall be transmitted to the grand jury or the court, whichever is appropriate.

SECTION 5. Section 20F of said chapter 233 is hereby repealed.

SECTION 6. Section 20G of said chapter 233, as appearing in the 1996 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words "sections twenty E or twenty F" and inserting in place thereof the following word:- section 20E.

SECTION 7. Said section 20G of said chapter 233, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 9 and 10, the words "sections twenty C, twenty E or twenty F" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- section 20C or 20E.

SECTION 8. Said section 20G of said chapter 233, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word "court", in line 17, the following words:- , appeals court or superior court.

SECTION 9. Section 20H of said chapter 233, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words "or twenty F".

SECTION 10. Said section 20H of said chapter 233, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 3, the words "or the" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- , appeals court or.

Approved July 24, 1998.