BOSTON (CBS) – House Speaker Robert DeLeo says a key amendment being promoted by Gov. Deval Patrick to the “three-strikes” bill toughening penalties for repeat violent offenders “would really gut the bill” and promises that a possible veto by the governor would be easily overridden in the House.

In an exclusive interview with WBZ-TV Friday morning, the speaker rejected criticism of the so-called “Melissa’s Law” from the governor and Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, claiming there are proper legal protections in the bill for defendants and that it would generate too few cases each year to be a burden on the SJC, as Ireland has claimed.

Reading from a list of violent crimes covered by the new law, DeLeo said he sides with the survivors of victims in their outrage over a system that has at times freed repeat violent offenders who have committed further crimes.

“We have to start thinking about those folks,” said DeLeo. “We took the most heinous of crimes and made it apply to this law to ensure that the worst of the worst were going to be affected.”

Watch Part One Of Jon’s Interview:

On the possibility of a gubernatorial veto, DeLeo said he had more than enough votes for an override.

“I’m ready to take it up. Unless there’s a huge shift over this weekend which I don’t see… I can’t see having a lot of problem overriding that.”

Watch Part Two Of Jon’s Interview:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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