BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved 139 to 14 a finalized version of a crime bill Tuesday that bans three-time convicted felons from being eligible for parole. The vote comes after a conference committee of 6 lawmakers spent 8 months consolidating House and Senate versions of the habitual offender bill that makes sure society’s most violent repeat criminals are kept behind bars.
“It’s a good bill, it’s a balanced bill. Is there something that people are going to like in this bill? Yes. Is there something people are going to dislike? Yes,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).
Supporters of the bill say it makes sure the most heinous, violent, repeat felons who commit crimes like murder and rape serve out their full sentences.
“The folks that would be subject to the provision of this bill with regard to being multiple offenders would have committed one of 42 violent crimes,” said Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).
But some lawmakers are disappointed by a last minute decision to remove a measure that gives judges the discretion to grant parole to three-time convicted felons. House lawmakers say this “safety valve” spoils the point of the bill.
“I think by putting the safety valve language in it waters down the bill. You don’t get an opportunity to get a lesser sentence. You need to serve that without a change for parole,” said Rep. Bradford Hill (R-Ispwich).
The bill now heads to the Senate for an up or down vote before making its way to the governor’s desk.
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proudirishgirl | July 18 2012 8:10pm
It is about time a law like this is past in Massachusetts. This state has been to soft on repeat offenders. I think 3 strikes is to many. It should be 2 strikes. Enough is enough. Protect the public from them.
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