Snow’s record of drunken driving dates to the late 1970s. Despite that, he had a valid driver’s license because his most recent conviction was before the state eliminated a 10-year “lookback” limit on prior offenses.
Judge Timothy Feeley flatly rejected both Snow’s suggestion that the late disclosure of the transcript was intentional and led to an unfair trial, and his argument that the entire case should be dismissed as a sanction against the prosecution for a “discovery violation.”
Dismissals as a sanction are used only in cases of “extreme prejudice,” said the judge, because of public policy concerns.
Aside from that, the judge noted, Snow was long ago given the transcript of the grand jury proceedings relevant to the part of the case that was tried in August — including the trooper’s testimony about Snow’s condition at the scene of the accident. The only potential harm could have come from having to try the “subsequent offense” portion of the trial without that part of the transcript, which Snow now has.
Most subsequent offense proceedings are usually done without a jury, and the decision is made by a judge, but Snow is standing by his right to a jury trial for that. But because the jury pool in Salem Superior Court was being used to select a jury in a Beverly murder case, Snow’s case was postponed until Oct. 30.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.