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Madison Bader authors article on allowing defendants in criminal cases to argue last before case goes to jury

Madison Bader in an article published in the Boston Bar Journal advocates for allowing criminal defendants the right to argue last before a case goes to a jury.

Current practice in Massachusetts at the close of evidence is for the defendant to argue first and the government to have the last word.

Ms. Bader asserts that the Massachusetts court system should revisit this longstanding practice to allow defendants the opportunity to rebut arguments of the prosecution.

“Given that a defendant’s liberty is at stake, justice demands that a defendant be given the opportunity to, at the very least, respond to the government’s closing argument,” she writes.

Ms. Bader’s article is part of the Journal’s Point/Counterpoint series.  Arguing for maintaining the current practice, retired Superior Court Judge Richard E. Welch III asserts that the current system is consistent with prosecutors having the burden of proof in criminal cases.  Ms. Bader contends that allowing the defendant a simple rebuttal holds the government to their intentionally high burden.

Ms. Bader concentrates her practice on complex civil litigation and criminal defense matters.  Before moving into private practice, she was an Assistant District Attorney for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.