Violence Rising In Massachusetts Courtrooms


In another outburst of courtroom violence, an accused cop shooter allegedly sucker-punched an elderly juror Friday after a judge refused a prosecutor's request to keep him shackled, reports the Boston Herald. A mistrial may be declared. “This behavior is absolutely unacceptable,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said of the alleged juror jab. “We will present the matter to the grand jury this week for possible indictment on juror intimidation charges.” The defendant apparently had to be pulled off the man, who appeared dazed but not seriously injured.

Chaos in Massachusetts courts, where officers are unarmed, is becoming almost as common as jury duty. Court officers had to break up a fight between relatives of a murdered mother and a man who allegedly violated her restraining order in another court on Friday. In February, an accused rapist allegedly stabbed his own lawyer with a homemade knife in a court abd had to have a SWAT team assigned to him at subsequent appearances. “There's no question the level of violence in Massachusetts courtrooms has been escalating,” said David Frank, a former prosecutor who works for Lawyers Weekly. “Things have taken a turn for the worst in the last 12 months.”


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