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Men convicted of 1968 double murder in a Mission Hill drugstore get to stay in prison until they die, court rules

For the seventh time, the Supreme Judicial Court declined to overturn Paul Robinson's conviction for the murders of Patrick Hughes and his nephew, also named Patrick Hughes, in the family drugstore on Tremont Street across from Mission Church on Dec. 21, 1968.

In a separate ruling today, the court rejected a similar appeal by George McGrath, who was also sentenced to life without parole for his role in the two victims' death.

The court ruled that, again, Robinson failed to provide any new legal reasoning to merit the court considering whether to overturn his conviction of life without possibility of parole. That the court considered his appeal was a minor victory for Robinson - his latest request for a hearing before the state's highest court had been rejected by a single justice and the court normally considers such denials "final and unreviewable."

In 1969, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Robinson and McGrath of shooting both Hughes and his nephew in the head during a robbery. Police found the two lying atop each other behind the drugstore's counter.

According to his own testimony, Robinson spent the hours before the robbery downing 10 vodkas and 7-Ups, smoking pot, and injecting himself with heroin.

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PDF icon Complete SJC decision12.42 KB



In a word - OBSCENE.

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The fact that it is ALLOWED is obscene. The fact that a guy locked up forever with lots of time on his hands would keep trying to get out is understandable.

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...hey, just kill yourself before the appeal is finalized.

Bingo, you didn't do it.

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put half the effort into representing him during the original trial as he has in filing all those appeals, he might not have been convicted in the first place.

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No trial, no appeal, just the allegations by your neighbor and a thug police force and BANG - executed.

No muss, no fuss, no bother, none of that nasty constitutional stuff.

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by a jury based on the preponderance of the evidence is actually presumed to be guilty. Unless, of course, they produce evidence that could not have been introduced at the original trial (which is the only LEGITIMATE reason for appealing a conviction). And the burden of proof should be on the convicted party, who has been proven GUILTY, to establish innocence, not on the prosecution to prove guilt.

Instead, we continually get appeals based not on actual evidence of innocence, but on things like "my original lawyer didn't properly do their job the first time", or "I didn't like the judges ruling on that motion", or (my all time favorite idiotic appeal basis) "my family couldn't watch the jury selection."

The fact that such frivolous appeals are even entertained has clearly created a culture whereby defense attorneys are apparently not raising issues or objections during the original trial because of a "if we don't get an acquittal, we can always appeal" mentality. IMO, this is VERY dangerous and cuts at the heart of our judicial system.

And before you continue on about "well, it's a person's right to appeal, etc.", perhaps you should sit back and realize that all these appeals, even if the ruling comes back in favor of upholding the conviction, require the courts to WASTE their time and the TAXPAYER's money.

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One of the two hard working people killed in that drug store was my uncle.
The cowards who executed two unarmed men four days before Christmas Eve did so without any remorse.
Why do they keep on appealing?
Because they hope relatives like me will die off and not challenge them.
It was hard to bury my uncle on Christmas Eve in 1968. .
It was hard for my aunt to raise two children by herself.
Neither the state of Massachusetts nor these cowards ever sent my aunt a penny to raise her children, or a letter of apology.
But the state pays the legal fees of these bums without a second thought.
These lowlifes would have been executed years ago when Massachusetts had and used the electric chair.
Some people with hearts of evil, like these scumbags , don't deserve to again walk the streets along with decent and law abiding family folks.

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that averages out to a little more than one a decade. I'm OK with a justice system that lets you file an appeal every ten years you're in prison.

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Meanwhile the fact that the wife of the nephew, along with their two kids, had to build a life without him for the next 45 years of her life is highly commendable.

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