Criminal Justice

DA races drawing candidates and attention

DA races drawing candidates and attention

Controversy and new political context give challengers an opening in DA races

Back in December, when the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts launched a voter education campaign targeting the state’s district attorneys, it seemed like a long shot. After all, races for district attorney are located pretty far down the ballot, places where the power of incumbency usually rules. But as election season starts to heat(...)

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Lawyer: Hefner looking forward to trial

Lawyer: Hefner looking forward to trial

Says accusers can no longer remain anonymous

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE MAN AT THE CENTER of a scandal that has rocked the Massachusetts Senate appeared in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery, open and gross lewdness and dissemination of an illicit nude photograph. During a court appearance just around the corner from the State(...)

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Warren, Brownsberger go at it on criminal justice bill

Warren, Brownsberger go at it on criminal justice bill

Drawing a line in the sand

The sweeping criminal justice bill that Gov. Charlie Baker signed earlier this month received widespread, but not universal, praise as a welcome turn away from the tough-on-crime policies of the 1980s and ‘90s. One notable dissenting voice was that of Setti Warren, the former Newton mayor who is now one of three Democrats vying to(...)

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The Codcast: Warren, Brownsberger go at it on criminal justice bill

The sweeping criminal justice bill that Gov. Charlie Baker signed earlier this month received widespread, but not universal, praise as a welcome turn away from the tough-on-crime policies of the 1980s and ‘90s. One notable dissenting voice was that of Setti Warren, the former Newton mayor who is now one of three Democrats vying to(...)

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A welcome turn away from tough-on-crime era

A welcome turn away from tough-on-crime era

State should press ahead on further reforms

LAST WEEK, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed comprehensive criminal justice reform into law, approving a bill that will reduce the state’s prison population and make it easier for incarcerated offenders to reintegrate into society upon release. This measure marks the end of the long, misguided “tough-on-crime” era in the Commonwealth, where politicians competed to prove(...)

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Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Criminal justice bill reaches finish line

Baker signs comprehensive legislation, while signaling concern with parts of it

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed sweeping criminal justice legislation on Friday, capping several years of discussion on Beacon Hill and casting Massachusetts squarely in the national wave of rethinking tough-on-crime laws of the 1980s and 90s. Flanked at the State House by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties, Baker said, “Viewed as a whole,(...)

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House budget proposes new re-entry spending

House budget proposes new re-entry spending

Advocates cheer efforts to fund recidivism reduction programs

ONE WEEK AFTER the Legislature passed sweeping new criminal justice reform reforms aimed at turning the system away from incarceration and toward second chances and rehabilitation, the House is proposing new spending for programs aimed at helping offenders get on the right track. The 2019 state budget plan unveiled on Wednesday by House Ways and(...)

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A first take from Suffolk DA hopefuls

A first take from Suffolk DA hopefuls

Henning, viewed as moderate in the race, insists he would have voted for reform bill

THE FIRST candidate forum in the race for Suffolk County district attorney gave the five Democrats running a chance to lay out their vision for the office and, in one case, clarify a view that the campaign says was misrepresented. The race is unfolding as the country is going through a rethinking of tough-on-crime policies(...)

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Amherst church is now his home

Amherst church is now his home

Immigrants seek sanctuary in churches to avoid deportation

ON THE VERGE of being deported last summer, Lucio Perez took sanctuary in the First Congregational Church in Amherst. He hasn’t left since. Perez is one of three people in Massachusetts and 20 nationwide who have sought sanctuary in churches to avoid being deported. First Church is one of roughly 1,100 churches across the country(...)

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State follows voters’ lead on criminal justice

State follows voters’ lead on criminal justice

Polling suggests voters largely agree with broader approach

The Senate and House sent a sweeping criminal justice reform bill to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk this week. The Governor has not said how he will proceed. Details matter, and there are a lot of them to parse, but the overall thrust of the bill is very much in keeping with what voters have said(...)

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