Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Boston Police Officers Investigate Weekend Shootings And Homicide …Again (CJS Perspectives -Part I.)

How many of you thought that the Boston police and probation officers were over-reacting when you read my blog last week about their “late night calls” on probationers? As you may recall, it was in response to the rise of the homicide rate. Well, it would appear that these late night visits have not made that big a difference quite yet.

We have had another one of those “record weekends” in terms of shooting deaths this past weekend. Police are still investigating the shootings in the three Boston neighborhoods to find those responsible.

Yes, that means high profile arrests. Yes, that means you had better be careful, lest the finger of accusation make its way to your door.

Speaking about the shootings, these left one woman dead and five men wounded, Commissioner Edwin F. Davis has said that there are some “promising leads” already. He further added that, “It was a very unusual day to have that many incidents occur, We have noted spikes in this kind of activity before, and unfortunately, we’re experiencing one again this weekend.”

Yes, accent on the word “again”…not so much on the word “unusual”. This is not even the first time we have had such a weekend this year.

And so we have the increasingly familiar sad sights of candle-light vigils. Again. Gatherings of people who loved, knew or perhaps merely have a “fellow feeling” for the shooting victims.

And, again, emphasis on the word “again”.

One woman interviewed at such a vigil explained that she was dismayed at the violence in the neighborhood.

“This just keeps happening,” she said, shaking her head. “It’s never going to get better.”

At another such site, people gathered at another memorial, located outside a tavern where two men were among the weekend’s casualties. Apparently, the tavern was known to be a scene of trouble in the past. For example, in July, 2007, a man was shot at the corner , about 40 feet from the bar.

In fact, the locations of the crimes and the perpetrators involved are said to be familiar to police, Davis said, and “we’re working hard to hold them accountable.”

The woman’s death brought the city’s homicide total this year to 56, compared with 41 at this time last year.

By the way, a seventh person was also shot Saturday, but police said that appeared to be an accident. Apparently, the gentleman apparently shot himself in the foot with his own gun.
He was taken to Boston Medical Center and treated. It is not known whether he was carrying the weapon legally.

Attorney Sam’s Take:
You know my typical admonition here. Be careful. The police are in need of defendants here. The pressure is on.

We know what that means. It usually brings about a time for our public officials to search for quick fixes and reactive investigations that cast a large net over many…and does little to actually solve the problem.

Bullying, weekend multiple shootings and New York police officers emptying their weapons into Massachusetts students…what can be done?

“I know, Sam, call off all police investigations and the problem will solve itself, right?”

Absolutely not. But, let’s face it…the late-night probation calls, fancy named operations going after sex workers and overnight legislation is not doing too much to solve the problem, are they?

That is, unless you consider momentary false sense of securities, marvelous media coverage and throwing a lot of nonviolent folks into prison the solution.

I don’t. And I am willing to bet that you don’t either. These are serious problems which mean that well thought out solutions are needed.

Please read that again. Note that “feel good” does not appear in that paragraph.

Understanding the various perspectives of the participants of the criminal justice system would go a long way in terms of addressing the situation. I would suggest that understanding where law enforcement is coming from is one of the first things we need to do. Contrary to what you may believe, not all defense attorneys are patently “anti-cop”.

I am not, for example. However, law enforcement solutions the way we view them today are neither solving nor preventing the problems…which are getting worse.

Perhaps that is where should begin…in part two of this blog..

In the meantime, the problems remain and all of us are at risk…both by the perpetrators…and law enforcement..

Should the Commonwealth or federal bracelets of shame be looming in your present or future…it would be advisable to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible…if not sooner. Should you wish that attorney to be me, please feel free to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.

For the original story upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://mobile.boston.com/art/30/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/10/25/police_have_leads_in_boston_shootings/

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