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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Get out of jail card

At least there's no evidence yet that Dominic Cinelli's probation officer messed up.

But the Massachusetts Parole Board is in plenty of (justified) hot water for freeing the convicted killer who this week shot and killed a Woburn cop while fleeing from a jewelry robbery. And now we come to find out the Parole Board didn't even notify the Middlesex District Attorney's office about the hearing.

The two employees assigned to notify the DAs are already gone but the mess they left is going to serious entangle efforts to clean up the even bigger mess that is the state's post-prison system of parole and probation.

That's because the Massachusetts Parole Board is under the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the cabinet agency to which Deval Patrick wants to assign control over the patronage-riddled Probation department.

Already a long shot move given the opposition of both the Judiciary and the Legislature, it seems appropriate to pull the plug on that idea -- even though there doesn't seem to be a better alternative, so far.

And the murder of John Maguire is also likely to put a harsh spotlight on the six-member panel that unanimously agreed to parole a violent offender who was serving three concurrent life sentences. (Hint: You may want to fix that rosy notice that "In 2009, the agency's success rate for individuals under community supervision was 78%!")

As someone who opposes the death penalty, I have no problem with the concept of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Even if the judges who sentenced Cinelli left the loophole, the board still has some explaining to do about why it apparently fell for the "I'm reformed" act of someone serving three concurrent life terms.

And you can't help but wonder if the absence of prosecutors opposing the release had a big something to do with this deadly mistake.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing Deval has no elections coming up, Willie Horton all over again. I also agree from a philosophical standpoint there should be no death penalty. It doesn't allow the prisoner time to make things up to society. Life in prison, hard labor with the fruits of that labor going to a victims fund. And noone should ever be on the waiting list for a kidnoy transplant with all those available kidneys wasting away in jail in bodies sent for life imprisonment. We have two kidneys, prisoners can give up one to begin to pay for their crimes.

December 30, 2010 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for shedding light not heat on this serious issue.

December 30, 2010 2:08 PM  

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