Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, Sections 1 and 2, punish those convicted of the crime of Arson with up to 20 years in state prison if the subject property is a dwelling; and for up to 10 years if the subjection property is a building.
In order to be convicted of Arson, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant set fire to, burned or caused a building to be burned;
- That the building was a dwelling house or a building whose burning resulted in a dwelling house; and
- That the defendant acted willfully and maliciously.
For purposes of the crime of Arson, "malice" characterizes all acts done with evil disposition, with a wrong and unlawful motive or purpose or the willful doing of an injurious act without lawful excuse.
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