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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, January 14, 2011

Steady pace to judgment

When the Herald doesn't nitpick, you know Deval Patrick did the right thing. More importantly, he did it the right way.

The decision to fire the Parole Board frankly was a no-brainer. They failed to follow procedures with deadly consequences when the voted to release three-time lifer Dominic Cinelli without even notifying prosecutors the guy was up for parole. As a result, Woburn patrolman John Maguire died.

But rather than cave in the face of public pressure -- including a blue line of police chiefs lined up to lambaste him -- Patrick ordered his public safety people to investigate. The two-week probe confirmed the sloppy practice and the need for a top-to-bottom change.

By acting on fact and not on politics, Patrick did something rare in public life today.

The Globe reports that decision was emotionally tough, because at heart Patrick is a compassionate man as his refusal to yield to the anti-immigrant bloc proves. And the decision has already kicked up dust on the left, where advocates fear no one will ever be released on parole again, as hyperbolic an overreaction as the one claiming all prisoners should be locked up forever.

This is one that should be played closer to the middle. Life in prison should mean just that, particularly if, like me, you don't believe in the death penalty. The board made a serious mess and needed to go.

But that doesn't mean a new board -- even with a tough ex-DA as its head -- won't continue to reflect the views and values of the man who appoints them. At heart, Patrick followed one of the better pieces of advice from the man lionized by the Right

Trust but verify.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

At heart, Patrick followed one of the better pieces of advice from the man lionized by the Right

Ahh Saint Ronnie.

Gov.Deval Patrick still owns a piece of this. He should be asked:What will you be looking for this time in Parole Board nominees that you didn't look for last time? I'd like to learn too.

January 14, 2011 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mass Liberal: I wish you would eliminate that confirm window that pops up every time I try to navigate away or close the tab after I've put some text into the comment window. Sometimes you just change your mind and want to leave. It's annoying.

January 14, 2011 9:19 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Patrick was probably upset because he knew he knew he had been forced to do it by mass hysteria, and the review was just a cover for a decision made primarily by his political consultants. What I fail to understand is why there is never this level of shock and outrage when the police kill a regular citizen, accidentally or semi-accidentally, which happened as recently as a week ago when a SWAT team shot a Framingham grandfather in trying to apprehend some drug addict teenagers in the house. I realize it's a separate issue, but it's one that should also be addressed.

January 14, 2011 9:33 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Anon 9:18, I'm afraid you have me stumped about a pop-up window. I don't see any setting -- other than the anti-spam recaptcha verification window -- that might cause the problem. If you know a way to fix the problem you encountered, let me know and I'll give it a shot.

January 15, 2011 6:42 AM  

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