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Court upholds man's life sentence for murdering a Dorchester teen in 2008

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that Patrick Grier got a fair trial and so deserves his sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole for repeatedly shooting DeAndre Barboza in Codman Square the day before Barboza's 17th birthday in 2008.

Grier's appeal attorney argued that prosecutors unfairly dismissed Black jurors before his trial. The state's highest court concluded that while prosecutors used a number of "peremptory challenges," they used them to not to reduce the number of Black people on the jury but young people - and said that while racial discrimination against prospective jurors is unconstitutional, nothing in the law prohibits trying to limit the number of young people.

In their summary of the case, the justices said that Grier and Barboza had gotten into some kind of disagreement the day before, Dec. 1, 2008, and that when Grier spotted Barboza again the next day, standing at the corner of Lyndhurst and Washington streets, Grier, then 21, took out a gun and shot Barboza. Barboza fell to the ground.

With the victim on the ground, the defendant continued to open fire at him, firing at least two more shots. One shot struck the victim in the head, while two shots wounded his legs. The victim was subsequently transported to Boston Medical Center in an ambulance. He died two days later on December 3, 2008, as the result of fatal brain injuries caused by the gunshot wound to his head.

Grier's lawyer raised other objections to the guilty verdict, but the court ruled against all of them.

PDF icon Complete ruling168.54 KB


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When you shot someone in the head your intent is to kill them. Unless Mr. Grier was some sort of extreme marksman he meant to kill his victim. I would have found him guilty of pre-meditated murder as well.

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he was convicted of First Degree Murder. "life in prison without possibility of parole" is the most severe Massachusetts penalty

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