Criminal Justice

Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked

Inequality, criminal justice reform are linked

Incarceration approach is hollowing out the middle class

FOR ALL THE TALK about inequality these days, it’s rare to see policy proposals that could actually make a difference. Politicians of all persuasions rail against the disappearing middle class, and then do very little to find common ground on viable solutions to the problem. The criminal justice reform legislation introduced in the Senate last(...)

Read More »

Trading gangs and guns for a future

Trading gangs and guns for a future

Can we get young men to give up the dead-end life of the streets?

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK OSTOW HAKEEM JACKSON DOESN’T mince words. “Just a couple of years ago I was shooting at people,” he says. A wiry 20-year-old with an affable bearing, Jackson is sitting at the Boston offices of Roca Inc., a nonprofit that works with young people who have been in and out of jail and(...)

Read More »

Middlesex DA Ryan backs mandatory minimum repeal 

Middlesex DA Ryan backs mandatory minimum repeal 

Joins Suffolk’s Conley in supporting parts of Senate bill

MIDDLESEX DISTRICT ATTORNEY Marian Ryan said she supports many pieces of the Senate criminal justice bill unveiled last week, including the repeal of some mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. “I support elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent, low-level drug offenses that do not include distribution of opioids or distribution to minors,” Ryan(...)

Read More »

Middlesex DA Ryan supports repeal of some mandatory minimum drug sentences

Here is the statement released by Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan on October 5, 2017, on the Senate criminal justice reform legislation: “As a prosecutor for more than thirty years I am a firm believer in progressive, thoughtful legislative reform. Our criminal laws should not be solely punitive, but also serve to rehabilitate while(...)

Read More »

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Sweeping proposal would touch most parts of system

THE SENATE IS poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants. The bill aims not only to reduce incarceration rates, but to eliminate various ways people get tripped up by a system that(...)

Read More »

Forensic science commission is needed

Forensic science commission is needed

Lab scandals show need for greater oversight

LET’S TALK NUMBERS, specifically 23,595. As of June 1, 2017, that was the number of convictions that were vacated as a result of Annie Dookhan’s misconduct at the Hinton Drug Laboratory between 2003 and 2009.  There’s another number out there – the number of convictions that will be vacated as a result of Sonja Farak’s(...)

Read More »

House, Senate poised to go separate ways on criminal justice bills

House, Senate poised to go separate ways on criminal justice bills

Branches would need to reach agreement afterwards to move reforms forward

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE HOUSE AND SENATE appear poised to go their separate ways on the major issue of criminal justice reform, perhaps meeting in the middle at some point in the future after what one senator predicted will be a “fairly lengthy evolutionary process.” The Judiciary Committee on Thursday opened voting on two(...)

Read More »

Codfather’s day of reckoning is here

Codfather’s day of reckoning is here

Judge must send signal with Carlos Rafael’s punishment

ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY, Federal District Court Judge William Young will sentence New Bedford-based fishing magnate Carlos Rafael for his extraordinary crimes. Sometimes referred to as “the Codfather,” Rafael pled guilty in March to 28 charges against him, including conspiracy to evade fishing quotas, profit from the sale of misreported fish, and falsified reporting to(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »