John Burke Case Study

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For the Application of the Criminal Justice System project of the Criminal Justice course, I chose the arrest of John Burke. This case is about the arrest and sentencing of John Burke who had shot and killed Joseph Ronan. Twenty-five year old John Burke agreed to meet with 22 year old Joseph Ronan at Ronans home, in Reading, Massachusetts on Monday, August 15, 2011 around 1pm, with the intent of purchasing Percocet pills. (, 2013) However, shortly after entering Ronans home, Burke opened fire (News, 2011), and after shooting Joseph Ronan several times, with the belief that Ronan was involved in a robbery at Burkes apartment in April 2011 (, 2013), fled the home. Ronans grandfather (Daniel, 2011), who had been in the home…show more content…
His sentence is changed from manslaughter and he has now been sentenced to 18-20 years in prison for manslaughter, followed by four to five years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. (Ryan, 2013) During a trial, the evidence is again presented to a court of law or a jury. Being sentenced to Capital Punishment is very unlikely to happen for Burke, as the state of Massachusetts has abolished Capital Punishment and only uses it in very severe cases where the suspect is tried federally (McCarthy, 2014) instead of regionally, like the Boston Bomber Case. Burke most likely got this sentence, because he pleaded guilty, possibly after enough evidence was gathered to prove his guilt and thereby “has taken responsibility for shooting the victim, resulting in his death, over what appears to have been a dispute about money” (, 2013) Burke is most likely to receive this sentence, because it is exactly the crime he committed. He committed manslaughter which was proven by the messages on the phone and apparently other evidence that has been found. None of the news reports however, have not stated what the exactly additional evidence found, to prove Burkes guilt, were. If they found the murder weapon with John Burkes fingerprints on them or gun residue on Burke, as well as his clothing he was wearing while committing the crime had blood stains on them. All this evidence would certainly prove that Burke…show more content…
More people get incarcerated for non-violent crimes and crimes caused by mental illnesses or drug abuse (Webb, 2009) and because these people get put in regular prisons, instead of in mental health facilities or facilities to help against drug addiction, where they could be treated to further prevent crimes driven by their illness (Webb, 2009), the prisons get overfilled and cannot hold the more ‘important’ prisoners that needed to be locked away from the public. A strong link of the criminal justice process is that the system tries to keep it fair for everyone. Every defendant has the right to an attorney so they can be defended properly and fairly and “Only judges who are adequately informed about a case can effectively control the proceedings and examine evidence” (Tochilovsky, 2002) It is also important for the criminal justice system that those involved show discretion and although this is not always the case, discretion by the judges, police, etc. further ensure proper treatment of the
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