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SJC Justices Call For Changes In Wiretap Laws

BOSTON (AP) – Two justices for the highest court in Massachusetts have asked state lawmakers to change a tough wiretap law to enable police to investigate and prosecute the hundreds of shootings and killings committed by street gangs.
 
Supreme Judicial Court Justices Ralph Gants and Judith Cowin made the call Friday in an opinion supporting a ruling barring secretly-recorded evidence from being used against a man who admitted to a 2007 drive-by killing in Brockton.
 
The court ruled police were wrong to use a wiretap while investigating Paulo Tavares because he was a member of a street gang, not an organized criminal group.
 
The current wiretap law only allows electronic surveillance “in connection with organized crime.”
 
The court says such sophisticated tools should also be available to police probing street gangs committing serious offenses including murder.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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