Netflix’s ‘Trial 4’ is an extremely intriguing documentary series that tells the story of Sean Ellis, who spent almost 22 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the 1993 murder of Boston Police Detective John Mulligan. It does this by highlighting the still-relevant issues of corrupt law enforcement officers, racial injustice, and mismanagement of already flawed processes.
Sean’s three trials, his manner of conviction, and his journey to attain freedom are all documented in the series. So, of course, all those in the justice system, who had a hand in this case, make an appearance. And among them is Ralph Martin, the then-District Attorney of Suffolk County. Let’s find out more about him!
Who Is Ralph Martin?
Ralph C. Martin II graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, before pursuing a law degree from the Northeastern University School in Boston, which he obtained in 1976. After completing his studies, he went on to successfully practice civil cases and tried many of them as a prosecutor before a jury. Then, Ralph made a full circle, returning to Northeastern University School as a lecturer and teaching civil trial practice from 1987 to 1992. During his last couple of years there, he decided to try a hand in politics and ran for the position of the District Attorney of Suffolk County.
Ralph had the backing of Governor William F. Weld, and his public campaign, focusing on the well-being of the citizens, led him to be appointed for the job in 1992, making him the first Black man to hold the position. He had practiced law in Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, so he was well-qualified for his profession. During his nearly ten years in office, from 1992-2002, Ralph was recognized by President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno for his skills and visions, which apparently gave way to change in the way the DA’s office collaborated with the law enforcement agencies.
Where Is Ralph Martin Now?
In 2008, 6 years after Ralph left his post as the DA, there was a lot of speculation that he was considering running for Mayor. However, he soon shut them down by announcing that he was giving up politics for good and had accepted a promotion to become a Managing Partner for the Boston office of Bingham McCutchen LLP. With over 30 years of experience in the field of justice, he also had the opportunity to be a Managing Principal of Bingham Consulting Group, where he served as the co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee.
In 2011, Ralph Martin was approached by his former School of Law, Northeastern University, where he was a member of the board of trustees, to be their Senior Vice President and a member of their General Counsel. He accepted, and since then, he has worked as the Chief Legal Officer for the University. Along with that, he is also a part of their eight-member Senior Leadership Team, where his role is to implement the ideas and commands of the President, his superior, to ensure the positive strategic and management direction for the University.
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