A crime bill that is intended to keep habitual criminals off the streets is heading to the desk of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports.
With a vote of 31 to 7 in the Massachusetts State Senate Thursday, both chambers in the legislature have now given overwhelming approval to a compromise crime bill that includes a so-called three strikes provision. It bans parole for people who been convicted of violent crimes on three separate occasions. Opponents claim it will disproportionately impact blacks and Hispanics. Legislators in Massachusetts have debated a so-called three strikes law for more than a decade, with renewed momentum after the killing of Woburn police officer by a parolee in 2010.. The bill also reduces mandatory minimum sentences for some non-violent drug offenses.