BOSTON (CBS) — Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker pushed legislation before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Tuesday that would keep dangerous defendants behind bars.
The Act to Protect the Commonwealth from Dangerous Persons looks to expand the lists of offenses that would require a dangerousness hearing following an arraignment and close loopholes in the criminal justice system.
Two police departments that lost officers in the line of duty last year are supporting that effort.
But those charged with other violent crimes are sometimes still allowed to make bail because a dangerousness hearing isn’t needed under the current law.
Among those offenses is aggravated rape and dissemination of obscene material to children, noted Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz.
“We have a responsibility to keep people safe in their homes and secure in the streets,” Cruz said. “We need to make sure victims have a voice.”
Bristol County District Attorney Tom Quinn explained, “If someone commits a crime, while out on release for another crime, the court revokes their bail it’s only for 60 or 90 days — that’s a kindergarten time out. They then get released back to the street and commit more crimes.”