Mass. Legislature Rejects Governor's Amendment to Crime Bill

Jul 30, 2012

The Massachusetts Legislature has rejected Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed amendment to a bill barring parole for three-time violent felons, leaving the fate of the bill in doubt as the legislative session nears an end.

Patrick's so-called "safety valve" amendment would have given limited discretion to judges to grant parole to felons after serving two-thirds of their maximum prison sentence or after serving 25 years of a life sentence.

The House rejected the amendment on a 132-23 vote on Monday. The Senate defeated it on a voice vote.

Critics of the amendment said it would gut the intention of the "three strikes" provision, which is aimed at cracking down on violent career criminals.

Patrick has not said if he planned to veto the bill if the amendment was not approved.

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