Study: Some judges tend to acquit drunken drivers

Updated:

BOSTON (AP) - A year-long study of drunken driving cases in Massachusetts recommends that the court system find ways to reduce opportunities for defendants to go "shopping" for a judge who may be more likely to acquit them.

The study was conducted by an attorney appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court after The Boston Globe last year published a series of stories that found certain judges had high rates of acquittals for accused drunken drivers.

The study by attorney Jack Cinquegrana (chin-kwah-GRAH-nah) found that judges in some courts, particularly in Worcester County, acquit nearly all defendants who chose to have a judge, rather than a jury, decide their cases.

The report said nothing suggests judicial misconduct.

But it said the high acquittal rates in certain courts "creates an appearance of leniency."