As many Massachusetts residents already know, our state law enforcement has zero tolerance for unlawful possession of firearms. In that vein, two people were recently arrested on various use of weapons charges in Avon. The charges were related to a recent shooting that allegedly occurred during an argument in the town’s Wal-Mart parking lot.
The two people are under arrest for illegal use of weapons. One individual, who sustained non-fatal injuries from the shooting, was later arrested at a Brockton hospital and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. A second man in a car was also arrested on a weapons charge. Additionally, another car in Boston was stopped and is believed to be related to the shooting. Reports claim the two people arrested were somehow connected to the Wal-Mart parking lot dispute, though further details of the incident remain sketchy.
Police suggest the dispute involved illegal drugs, although no details to support that claim were divulged. All other details of the claimed shooting and the subsequent arrests were not immediately known. Often, police reports of alleged criminal activity are sparse, either due to limited knowledge or because authorities have withheld certain information pending further investigation. For that reason alone, the presumption of innocence that attaches to every person arrested in Massachusetts is all the more important.
Here, each individual is fully entitled to all of the legal protections that apply to their case. The prosecution has the burden of proving the criminal allegations concerning illegal use of weapons in a fair proceeding and beyond a reasonable doubt. Essentially, that means that if just one juror decides that the evidence presented in court demonstrates a reasonable doubt about a defendant’s guilt, there cannot be a conviction under the law. Nevertheless, the serious charges pending against these men dictates that they focus their attention on the allegations as they fight to prove their innocence and hope for an equitable resolution of all pending criminal allegations.
Source: Boston.com, “2 arrested in nonfatal Mass. parking lot shooting,” March 27, 2012