On Saturday, Governor
Patrick amended H 4286 "An Act relative to sentencing and improving law
enforcement tools". The House and Senate have said they plan to take this
amendment up immediately. There are two days left in the Legislature's formal session.
As you know, the Boston Bar Association is deeply concerned by the
limitations of judicial discretion contained in H 4286 should it become law
without Governor Patrick's amendment. The Governor's amendment would
provide for judicial discretion on parole eligibility subject to a review on
appeal in those cases when it is in the "interest of justice" and there are
"substantial and compelling reasons" to do so. The judge would have the
authority to allow parole eligibility for a habitual offender after serving
two-thirds of the sentence or after 25 years for life sentences.
We need to urge the members of the Senate and House of
Representatives to support Governor Patrick's amendment. Please call or
email your state
representative and state senator TODAY as well as Senate President
Murray and Speaker DeLeo
and urge them to support the governor's amendment.
Click here to look up your state representative and