Thursday, January 13, 2011

Patrick takes action to end criminal justice failures

This afternoon, Governor Deval Patrick told bold action to combat recent failures in the criminal justice system, largely in response to the December murder of a Woburn police officer.

Some of Patrick's moves include accepting the resignation of certain members of the Parole Board, terminating certain parole employees, instituting new evidence-based standards for parole hearings, and filing legislation for greater truth in sentencing for repeat offenders.

We applaud Governor Patrick for taking bold, decisive and meaningful action to address shortcomings in the system. We spoke about the need for some of these moves in a recent post: Chaos in the criminal justice system threatens everyone.

We find Governor Patrick's tough talk and strong action refreshing, and we look forward to assessing the full content and impact of his moves today.

1 comment:

  1. You are was bold action by the Governor. However, there is also a need to redefine what criminal sentences really mean. Three life sentences should mean something more than an opportunity for parole. Life should really mean exceptions. Time to dust off the laws and put in place real change to sentencing parameters and submit these changes to writing in law, so there is less interpretive discretion in the hands of the future Parole Boards. Unless this happens, there is no guarantee that future boards might not migrate back to practices of old once the spotlight gets dimmer.


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