Dorchester teen out on bail for July stabbing arrested for December murder in Roxbury

BrittBrittBoston Police report arresting Andrew Britt, 18, on charges he shot Shawn Taylor to death on Copeland Street on Dec. 11.

He is scheduled for arraignment today in Roxbury District Court.

On July 13 of last year, Britt was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after allegedly stabbing a man in the chest.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, Britt was at a post-funeral reception at the American Legion post on Blue Hill Avenue when a post worker tried to break up an argument between two women. Britt allegedly responded to that by stabbing the worker in the chest.

Prosecutors asked for $10,000 bail, but Dorchester District Court Judge Kenneth Desmond reduced that to $1,000, the DA's office reports.

Innocent, etc.



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Let me get this straight...

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So he STABS somebody. A judge STILL decides that yeah, bail is a good idea and while waiting trial for STABBING someone he goes and SHOOTS someone?

Can we start holding these judges who let animals like this out on bail civilly responsible when they go and commit more crimes. (I'm only being half-sarcastic here...)

I don't mind so much

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that the judge agreed to let this guy out on bail. But setting bail at a mere $1,000?!? Especially when the prosecutor recommended $10,000, which to me seems much more in line with the charges here.

This is one of the basic flaws in our system that needs to be fixed - the fact that judges can automatically overrule a prosecutor's recommendations - and have to provide no justification whatsoever for doing so.

Why not skip the judge altogether...

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... and let the prosecutor set the bail.

Heck, why not skip the trial phase, too, and let law enforcement catch the bad guys and mete out punishment.

The nerve of some people, thinking that judges ought to have some say in the matter.

Judges Ought to Have Say

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They're the only impartial person in an adversarial courtroom. The difference is that a prosecutor and defense attorney usually lay out all the reasons why bail is or isn't appropriate. Past record of fleeing charges, roots in the community, severity of the present case, stability in school/empoloyment, strength or weakness of evidence and incentive to flee or not, etc. A judge doesn't have to give any reason. He can set any amount at all with no explanation to anyone. The SJC decided when Judge Dougan was on the hot seat that judges have absolute privilege against any inquiry or investigation into why they do what they do. You read that right. Judges decided that judges don't have to answer to anyone. You can imagine the outcry if the other branches of government pulled that, and you might have some recourse because members of the other branches can be voted out of office.

$100 cash to a bondsman to

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$100 cash to a bondsman to walk on attempted murder charge, only in MA.

Judges Set Bail

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They don't "overrule" prosecutors. Prosecutors are given a chance to ask or suggest, but they have no authority.

No one pays the actual bail.

No one pays the actual bail. You pay a bail bondsman a fee, and they cover the bail. One thousand dollars or ten thousand makes little difference, and would certainly not affect whether the perp goes on to commit another crime.

He didn't stab anybody

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As of when the judge set bail, he had not, in the eyes of the law, stabbed anyone; he had been accused of stabbing someone.

Bail is not punishment for committing a crime, nor is it a mechanism to lock up bad guys who haven't had a trial yet; it's a bond to guarantee that the accused shows up for trial. Period.

Otherwise intelligent people, capable of using the Interwebs, posting comments on this site, etc., seem remarkably clueless on this topic.

Oh look. We have a badass over here

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Try explaining that to the family of the person who was shot.

But, then again why am I telling you this? I'm sure you're well versed in United States v. Salerno. I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts the Commonwealth pretends it doesn't exist, but just maybe they should start keeping a few of the violent animals locked up before trial.

Pre-trial detention

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The Ed Meese era "let's lock people up without trial on the cops' say-so" stuff was bad news across the board. While I'm not intimately familiar with this area of law too lazy to look it up, my understanding is that US v Salerno was decided on pretty narrow grounds.

The answer is moving trials faster, not locking up legally innocent people because someone says they're dangerous.

Then why consider the

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Then why consider the severity of the crime when setting bail? Why not set it based on the person's income and flight risk?

Severity = flight risk

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Because flight risk is proportional to the severity of the crime.

If I were arrested for shoplifting, the judge would (rightly) say, "He's not going to put his house and 401(k) at risk over a misdemeanor" and let me out on personal recognizance. On the other hand, if I were looking at life without parole, I'd be much more likely to head for the hills of Bolivia, and the judge would (rightly) set a very high bail.

This is Massachusetts!

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This is Massachusetts! Remember the kid who got a day pass from DYS to go to the Red Sox game with no supervision. Yeah he skipped the game and went looking for someone to murder.Then walked into the barbershop and killed someone he didn't know. This makes as much sense as that did.

Right, this is Massachusetts

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And the actual facts are: our is middle of the pack.

But don't let the actual facts stand in the way of your rant against liberal, moonbat, Massachusetts judges.


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Having someone accused of attempted murder paying a whopping $100 (10% of his bail) to a bondsman guarantees he will show up to his trial? Really?

$1,000 bail

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This is the 3d UHub story from the past 2 days where bail was set at $1,000. Is that the going rate these days for bail, regardless of the crime?

If the purpose of bail is to get the defendant to show up for Court, $1,000 seems low. It correlates to $100 for bail bond costs. If I'm thinking about becoming a fugitive, the potential loss of $100 isn't enough to keep me home.


DA: He brought a gun to a fistfight

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Britt was ordered held without bail at his arraignment today, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

According to the DA's office, Britt and Taylor were both visiting with some mutual female friends who lived on Copeland Street. Taylor began to argue with one of the women, the DA's office says:

That argument became physical, at which point Britt intervened.

In the moments that followed, Taylor and Britt became involved in a fistfight. That fight continued until witnesses heard a "pop" that investigators believe was the sound of Britt's handgun being fired. Taylor fell to the ground with a fatal gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Prosecutors say Taylor was unarmed throughout the encounter and that witnesses observed Britt holding a gun before he fled.

Bail is decided on, of other things mentioned already

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the SEVERITY of the CHARGES. Attempted murder is as severe as it gets minus murder itself. $1000. bail is OUTRAGEOUS. Anyone who claims otherwise is either a troll, smoking crack, or attempting to be Devil's Advocate. And of course the young man has murdered someone. As punishment for the judge, force bus his kids or grand-kids, if he has any, to English High, the Burke, or Madison Park. And no, no special guards, they get to tough it out like any other scared poor kid.

I would PAY to watch a REAL reality TV show where bleeding hearts [NOT genuine civil libertarians] who defend violent low level sociopaths like this receiving $1000. bail for attempted murder must live for 6 months in one of the worse urban jungle neighborhoods in the country, preferably a housing project. They must be hood rats for 6 months, and use only public transport to get around

$1000. bail is OUTRAGEOUS.

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$1000. bail is OUTRAGEOUS. Anyone who claims otherwise is either a troll, smoking crack, or attempting to be Devil's Advocate.

Since the purpose of bail is to ensure that the accused shows up for trial, the question is, "Is the current system, with bail figures that seem awfully low, failing to do its job?" Seems logical that there might be a problem there, but I have not looked at the data, so I don't have a clue. Do you? You certainly seem to have some very strong opinions nevertheless.