Criminal Justice

Baker opens a legal can of worms

Baker opens a legal can of worms

Pushes strict liability for deaths caused by distributing illegal drugs

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER filed new legislation last month to battle the opioid crisis. His bill proposes some “important updates” to our arsenal of weapons in this fight, one of which, he says, would add a measure of “accountability” to the current strategy of treatment, education, and prevention. Specifically, the governor intends to “ensure that those who(...)

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Warren rips Baker ‘flip-flop’

Warren rips Baker ‘flip-flop’

Says mandatory minimum drug sentence violates earlier pledge

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S new bill targeting drug dealers make him a flip-flopper, according to gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren, who appears to be taking a stance against the governor’s proposal to hit deaWlers of lethal drugs with mandatory minimum prison sentences. On Wednesday, the governor proposed legislation (S 2158) defining the illegal(...)

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Baker pushes new drug dealing charges

Baker pushes new drug dealing charges

Backs tougher penalties on sales that lead to opioid overdose deaths

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A YEAR AFTER WORKING with the Legislature to try to stem the flow of opioids and improve addiction treatment options, Gov. Charlie Baker is targeting the peddlers of dangerous narcotics with a proposal to enhance penalties for dealing drugs that lead to overdose deaths. The governor, who sits on President Donald(...)

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Convictions shouldn’t preclude all casino jobs

Convictions shouldn’t preclude all casino jobs

Finding a legislative fix may make for interesting politics

THE MGM SPRINGFIELD CASINO is scheduled to open late next year, and casino managers are worrying about how they’ll fill all the jobs that will need filling. The big problem: a section of the 2011 casino law that requires the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to prohibit the employment of any casino job applicant who was convicted of(...)

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Healey outlines criminal justice vision

Healey outlines criminal justice vision

Backs what Baker proposed, but wants to take more holistic approach

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY sent a letter to two key lawmakers this week outlining her vision for criminal justice reform, including an overhaul of bail and sentencing practices that could serve as a guidepost for a debate that’s expected to heat up this fall. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate(...)

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SJC blocks local detentions for ICE

SJC blocks local detentions for ICE

Court says local authorities cannot hold immigrants solely because of border violation

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STATE LAW DOES NOT permit officials to detain immigrants solely at the request of federal immigration officials, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday, putting up a legal barrier to a long-running component of immigration enforcement. In the case of Commonwealth v. Sreynuon Lunn, the court concluded that “nothing in the statutes(...)

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Solution to domestic violence homicide: Fewer guns or more guns?

Solution to domestic violence homicide: Fewer guns or more guns?

Starkly different approaches proposed in bills

SINCE 2012, THERE have been 82 domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts, many involving the use of a gun. What’s to be done about these tragedies? The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Tuesday on two bills with starkly opposing solutions to the problem, both solutions involving access to guns. One bill would create a new kind(...)

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ACLU campaign to spotlight crucial role of DAs

ACLU campaign to spotlight crucial role of DAs

Poll shows many voters don’t believe criminal justice system is working fairly

THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION of Massachusetts says it plans to mount a campaign this fall urging voters to hold the state’s elected district attorneys accountable for the way the criminal justice system works. The impetus for the campaign grew out of a poll released Wednesday indicating that nearly half of Massachusetts voters believe the(...)

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Senate retreat to hear from criminal justice experts

Senate retreat to hear from criminal justice experts

Speakers will address ‘key facts and issues’

LEADERS OF THE SENATE, including President Stan Rosenberg and William Brownsberger, the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, have made clear their support for a range of criminal justice reforms that go beyond those in legislation that resulted from a recent review of state policy focused on recidivism. On Wednesday, senators will(...)

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The high toll of inmate phone calls

The high toll of inmate phone calls

Advocates say charges keep prisoners isolated, undermine criminal justice reforms

IT’S EASY TO take ordinary conveniences like making a telephone call for granted. Advances in technology have made communication cheaper and higher quality than ever before. But one group has been excluded from enjoying the benefits of the falling cost of this modern amenity: inmates. For years, inmates and their families across the nation have(...)

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