Ralph Gants

Sentencing commission backs repeal of mandatory minimums

Sentencing commission backs repeal of mandatory minimums

Votes add to push for more sweeping criminal justice reform

IN ANOTHER SIGN of support for broad criminal justice reform, the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission voted to recommend abolition of mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes except murder. The move comes as state leaders are split on the best way to revamp criminal justice policies. At a Jan. 18 meeting of the sentencing commission, members voted(...)

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Mapping incarceration in Boston

Mapping incarceration in Boston

Study finds minority neighborhoods burdened by high jail rates

LARGE SWATHS OF mostly minority Boston neighborhoods are so heavily affected by the criminal justice system that nearly every street has a resident who has spent time in jail, a concentration of incarceration that is costing millions of dollars and threatening the social fabric of neighborhoods already struggling with high rates of poverty and other(...)

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Hunting the source of leaks

Hunting the source of leaks

As SJC is finding, it’s a very slow process

Ralph Gants, the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, asked the attorney general’s office, the State Ethics Commission, and the US Justice Department on Nov. 9 to investigate whether someone from their agencies improperly leaked to the Boston Globe an impounded transcript of an interview with House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Nearly six months later,(...)

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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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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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