Politics

Probation drama not over yet

For months during the federal trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two top deputies, defense attorneys continually drew attention to the fact that only O’Brien, Elizabeth Tavares, and William Burke III were facing charges. How is it a crime, they asked, if those accused of accepting bribes weren’t charged? And the lawmakers who sweated(...)

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Beacon Hill’s doobage dithering

The contours of the marijuana legalization debate have filled out on Beacon Hill and opponents have scored some powerful allies. Will the presence of those heavy hitters make a difference on the slow march toward legalization? Attorney General Maura Healey has joined House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Gov. Charlie Baker, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in opposing(...)

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Galvin dishes out blame pie — but none for him, thanks

There is an old saw about accountability that says when you point a finger of blame at someone else, there are three more pointing back at you. Secretary of State William Galvin doesn’t appear to worry about that because he’s using all his fingers to accuse everyone but himself for nonexistent enforcement and often tortured interpretation(...)

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Gants argues against mandatory minimums for drug offenses

Text of the Chief Justice's keynote at Mass. Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Summit

  The following is a transcript of Chief Justice Ralph Gants’ keynote address at the second annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition summit on Monday, March 16th, 2015 at UMass Boston. Click here for a PDF of the speech with endnotes. In March of 1976, while a college senior, I submitted my undergraduate thesis in economics,(...)

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Healey’s e-cigarette move lights up Legislature’s inertia

What happens when an unstoppable attorney general meets an immovable Legislature? She works around it. Attorney General Maura Healey’s plan to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors has once again highlighted a chronic problem on Beacon Hill.  Despite having a year-round Legislature, Massachusetts had yet to act; 42 states have already issued their own e-cigarette regulations. Tobacco(...)

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Deval Patrick, living la vida loca

The whispering surrounding a future Deval Patrick campaign for president got full voice when Slate’s Reihan Salam recently put the former governor on a short list of alternatives to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Yet there are at least 7,500 reasons why Patrick won’t make a run for the White House in 2016, and perhaps(...)

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Crime brings together unlikely bedfellows

Crime brings together unlikely bedfellows

Coalition of political opposites looks to reform criminal justice system

WHAT DO THE liberal Center for American Progress, tea party-infused FreedomWorks, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers have in common? Not much, but they have banded together in an unlikely alliance to push for reform of the country’s criminal justice system. Christine Leonard, a former aide to several members of the(...)

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Gants blames DAs for lack of reform

Gants blames DAs for lack of reform

State’s top judge says prosecutors don’t want to cede discretion in sentencing to judges

THE STATE’S TOP judge went all-in on his call to eliminate minimum mandatory sentences for drug offenders, saying the state’s prosecutors “hold the cards” and are the biggest obstacle to sentencing reform because they don’t want to cede power to judges to make the determination on incarceration. “Let us be honest: When some district attorneys(...)

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On public records law, a full-court press

It is an issue that is uniting usually warring competitors, one that may have reached a breaking point in the same way some hope our winter of transit misery will lead to a real plan for the MBTA. Newspapers across the state are waging a coordinated attack to beef up the Massachusetts public records law,(...)

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Healey comes out strong for renewables

Healey comes out strong for renewables

Says subsidies help level playing field with fossil fuels

What follows is a copy of Attorney General Maura Healey’s prepared remarks to the NECA Renewables Conference minus her introductory statement. Today, I would like to talk to you about my vision for a clean energy future and my plan to serve as a 21st Century ratepayer advocate. The clean energy sector is now a(...)

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