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Melissa’s Bill One Step Closer To Law

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(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The three-strikes-and-you’re-out bill has been overwhelmingly passed by the House and now heads to the State Senate for debate.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.

The measure would prevent three-time violent habitual offenders from being released on parole.

This crime measure was named after murder victim Melissa Gosule, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in 1999 by a man who had 27 prior convictions.

This bill also reduces the mandatory minimum sentence for drug offenders.

It does not include the proposed expansion of wiretapping laws, something Gov. Patrick favors. Republican senate minority leader Bruce Tar expects ultimate approval by the governor.

“We hope to get this bill to the governor’s desk as soon as possible and we hope that he will sign it, and we have an expectation that he should sign it given the fact that it’s a very balanced, common-sense bill that protects public safety in the commonwealth,” said Tar.

Critics say the compromised measure would disproportionately target minority groups and lead to prison overcrowding.

Tar doesn’t think that’s the case.

“The list of crimes is no more than 42. You would have to be sentenced to three years or more for them to count as a strike. You would have to have done these things three times. So for anyone to suggest that somehow someone could mistakenly get caught up in the web of this bill simply is inaccurate.”

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