Mandatory-Sentencing Bill Appears Headed for Governor's Desk

July 18, 2012 5:20 pm

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ACLU Calls on Lawmakers and Gov. Patrick to Stop Deeply Flawed “Crime Bill” Expanding Unjust, Wasteful Mandatory Sentencing and Limiting Judicial Discretion

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BOSTON — The following statement may be attributed to Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts: “The ACLU of Massachusetts is hugely disappointed that, after months of work on a so-called ‘crime bill,’ the conference committee has moved forward a deeply flawed mandatory-sentencing bill. If it passes the state House and Senate, we hope Governor Patrick will take appropriate action to make sure that any new law includes much-needed reforms to mandatory-sentencing laws that the ACLU and others have long supported and worked for. Real reform saves millions and increases public safety.

“This legislation, in contrast, would expand unjust, wasteful mandatory sentencing and would require sentencing decisions to be made regardless of the facts of individual cases. The changes it would make to Massachusetts laws concerning drug and other offenses will put more people in prison and keep them there longer–at a price tag of nearly $50,000 per prisoner each year.

“So-called ‘3 Strikes’ laws are the wrong way forward. We need to repeal mandatory sentencing, not expand it.”

To view a three-minute interview with Jamie Ayers about how the law would have affected her, go to:

For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to:

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