Proposed ‘3 Strikes’ Law For Violent Convicts Takes Big Step Forward

BOSTON (CBS) – For years, a local family has been trying to get the state to toughen up the laws and keep repeat violent offenders in prison.

They say a so-called “3 Strikes” law would have saved a loved one’s life.

But that legislation has been stalled in Massachusetts, until now.

For the first time in ten years, the bill has come out of committee and will be debated on the State Senate floor Thursday.

It’s the farthest this bill has ever gone.

For Les Gosule, it’s progress that is long overdue.

“I’m happy we’re here for all the wrong reasons,” he told WBZ-TV.

It’s a fight Gosule has led for more than a decade.

melissa gosule Proposed ‘3 Strikes’ Law For Violent Convicts Takes Big Step Forward

Melissa Gosule

His daughter Melissa was raped and murdered 12 years ago in Halifax by a repeat offender.

Gosule wants criminals convicted three times of the most violent offenses to lose any chance of parole.

“If we can pass this bill, and some innocent person, who I’ll never know, is not raped and not murdered, then we have done something in the name of Melissa.”

But his cause had been stalled on Beacon Hill, until last year when Woburn police officer John Maguire was shot to death by a paroled career criminal.

Now the Senate is working on a bill that would enact “3 Strikes” for 60 different violent crimes.

Also, other repeat offenders would have to serve two-thirds of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Currently the law requires half.

And under the bill, more prisoners will be supervised after release than are currently supervised now.

“This bill is a no-nonsense bill to help protect innocent people,” Gosule said, adding that his daughter would be happy to see this progress.

“She would have wanted other innocent people to live their lives, live their dreams.”

WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports

The House is expected to take up the bill later this month before breaking for recess.

Gov. Deval Patrick said he is reviewing the senate legislation before commenting.

He has filed his own sentencing and parole reform bill.

  • emom

    OK I am having a hard time understanding this new law .. or should I say potential new law. First of with the recent parolees released and committing their crimes over again , I feel this law would not only do more harm , it would not prevent them from repeating in the first place.
    We are taking about criminals that are violent , with the potential to gain access to the public and once again repeat their crimes. To allow a murderer back on the street is like giving them extreme rights to take a life. Its crazy.
    Letting a sex offender that raped backed on the streets is like handing them the right to do what ever they want to someone and laugh at us all because we are such a easy going state.
    Where does it end, I mean to allow such criminals back on the street after such horrible crimes is unthinkable. I feel for the families that must plead with the courts to not allow these monsters out of jail , and it happened to many times over this year.
    There should be no reason to give these career criminals a second chance never mind a third,, WHY, why on earth should they even go pass go , they will gamble peoples lives away all in the name of what ,, I cant even think of a good reason for them to do this, 3 strikes and your out, this is not baseball, this is real life, human life, precious life, a heart beat that pumps blood and innocent life.
    3 strikes is wrong sorry I feel they do not deserve a 2ND chance, you commit a horrible crime and it takes a life you should loose yours, If you hurt someone so bad that they fear their life forever, then you should fear living behind bars forever. I can only image how some feel I am at a loss for the rational reasons for this law, Giving anyone criminal extra chances at FREEDOM, is telling the victims they don’t stand a chance and to watch their backs. How could anyone live with that.

    • Willow

      Totally agree!!

  • Len Kahle

    This is a horrible law that failed in every state it has been enacted. Yes, three violent felonies or three repeat offenses for SOME crimes is deplorable. But what happens is that they absolutely historically broaden the limitations until ‘any crime by a person with a strike whether a misdemeanor or not becomes an automatic felony.” So then you have thousands of people serving life sentences for charges such as petty theft, DUI, or even evasion. In the state of California’s prison system sit many thousands of mothers and fathers children serving 25 to life, the mandatory sentence, for the most mild crimes, it is a travesty. The solution is to give Judges BROADER DISCRETION so they are not bound by laws that protect criminals the other way. Then, the real bad seeds can be culled from the population to create a safer public, and people who may turn around their lives will have that opportunity without facing life in prison, never seeing or being there for their children or parents, because they stole a couple DVD’s. Lastly, if you commit a serious murder/rape or are predatory, you should be executed immediately.

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