A string of high profile Boston violent crimes in August has the city's police department on edge. It also has political leaders calling for the authorities to clamp down on criminals. But will such a crackdown really help solve a pressing social problem, or will it simply rope more individuals into the criminal justice system with little regard for their rights?
Shooting with Police Instigated Mayor Thomas Menino's comments
It all began with a gunfight between two police officers and two individuals at a Dorchester intersection. The policemen, two plain-clothed narcotics officers, spotted two young men near the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Shepton Street, allegedly "acting in a suspicious manner," according to CBS Boston. The officers got out of their car, identified themselves, and that's when one of the young men allegedly pulled out a gun.
A firefight ensued in which one of the suspects was killed and both officers suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds to their legs. The second suspect was arrested two days later. Both officers will fully recover from what were described as minor wounds.
Although one suspect in the shooting was killed while the other was apprehended promptly, Boston's mayor felt that the incident was the last straw in a perceived violent crime problem.
"We have to stop the violence of these young people who have no regard for life," Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald in the wake of the shooting. "We have to get the courts to get tougher on them. They have to do something - make examples of some of these kids."
Do not let yourself be put behind bars so the mayor can send a message to others
What does the mayor's proclamation mean? Well, if you are facing accusations of criminal wrongdoing, it means you should get in touch with a defense attorney as soon as possible.
Making examples of certain criminal defendants may be a powerful political rallying cry - but on the ground level it sounds a lot like disparate treatment in the courts for similarly situated individuals. If you are facing criminal charges, you need to ensure that your rights are respected. If you do face potential punishment, moreover, you will want to make sure that you are only punished for your own actions as proven by the state - not punished in order to "send a message to others."
A criminal defense attorney may be able to persuade a judge to suppress evidence that was collected in violation of your Constitutional rights. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can argue persuasively from your point of view and ensure that you do not face a lengthy term behind bars simply because the mayor is pressing courts to make examples of people. If you have been accused of a crime, protect yourself and call a Boston criminal defense attorney today.