Patrick calls the bill "a good start."
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday ended specualtion that he might kill the mandatory sentencing bill he had objected to but the Legislature supported. Calling the bill "a good start," Patrick said he would sign it but wants to see changes made to it in the next legislative session. "I still believe there is a necessary role for judicial discretion when it comes to sentencing and many of the advocates of this bill have pledged to support that next year," he wrote on his website Tuesday. "The senate president and the speaker have pledged to return to the subject of mandatory minimum sentencing early in the next session. I take them at their word." As it stands, the so-called "three strikes" bill, also dubbed "Melissa's Law" after a Jamaica Plain…
The governor on Saturday sent 'Melissa's Bill' back to the Legislature.
Gov. Deval Patrick set in motion a wave of criticism when he proposed an amendment to the "three strikes"/Melissa's Bill on the grounds that it lacked sufficient provisions for judicial discretion. Warning of possible unintended "unjust consequences" that can arise from mandatory sentencing laws, Patrick wrote in a letter to the Legislature, "None of us is wise or prescient enough to foresee each and every circumstance in which the new habitual offender provisions may apply." On Monday afternoon, the House rejected Patrick's amendment by a vote of 132-23, according to The Boston Globe. The bill's fate is up in the air, as the legislature's summer session will end Tuesday at midnight. The governor has not indicated whether he would veto a …