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January 28, 2013

Intriguing Massachusetts developments in response to SCOTUS Miller ruling

As reported in this local article, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has today set out "proposed legislation that would eliminate mandatory life sentences without parole for teens under 18 convicted of first-degree murder."  Here is more from the article:

The measure filed by Patrick Monday would also raise the age for juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18 in Massachusetts. Under current state law, teens as young as 14 can be tried as adults for first-degree murder. Conviction on first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without parole in Massachusetts.  Patrick’s bill would still allow life sentences without parole for juveniles under certain circumstances....

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.  Because of that Supreme Court case -- Miller v. Alabama -- the change proposed by Patrick to eliminate mandatory life sentences for teens is not a great surprise, several lawyers said....

According to a prepared statement issued by Patrick’s office, “An Act to Reform the Juvenile Justice System in the Commonwealth” will create a fairer justice system for the state’s youth.   “Every violent felon should be held accountable for their actions, even youth.  But in sentencing every felon’s circumstances should be considered, too, and youth itself is a special circumstance,” Patrick said.  “It is time for the Commonwealth’s laws to reflect the value, in accord with the Supreme Court, that young people deserve every opportunity for rehabilitation and reform,” he said.

State Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral said, “The governor’s legislation recognizes the importance of providing juveniles with age-appropriate resources for rehabilitation. It builds on established research that proves an adolescent brain affects behavior and judgment, but that rehabilitation is possible.”

“Fair treatment of juveniles requires both holding them accountable for their actions and ensuring the highest degree of public safety in order to keep the Commonwealth’s neighborhoods safe and secure," she said.

This lengthy press release from Gov. Patrick's office provides a lot more detail on the details in the juve justice reforms now being proposed in the Bay State.

January 28, 2013 at 07:30 PM | Permalink


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Funny how a bogus Supreme Court decision will give cover for criminal-coddling Democrats to tell us how they really feel about brutal thugs.

And it is stunning to see Deval Patrick yap about "fairness" or what have you. What is brutally unfair is that murder victims don't get to come back--ever. Let's start with that bit of unfairness before we start talking about what these punks "deserve" or what is "fair" to them. But of course, Patrick really doesn't care about that--all he cares about is preening.

But we all know what a farce Deval Patrick is. If he really cared about fairness, he'd pardon Gerald Amirault, but, of course, because fascistic scum like Martha Coakley decided to sell her soul to the devil to get elected, Patrick won't lift a finger, after there's a fellow Dem to protect, justice be damned.

Deval Patrick could not care less about the new horrible life sentence he now inflicts on families: To go to endless parole hearings to keep the thugs that brutalized their families locked up. Instead, you can see the glee coming through the press releases. What is it about Democrats?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 28, 2013 10:43:57 PM

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