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Massachusetts Legislature Approves "Three Strikes" Bill

A crime bill that is intended to keep habitual criminals off the streets is heading to the desk of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.  WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports.

   With a vote of 31 to 7 in the Massachusetts State Senate Thursday, both chambers in the legislature have now given overwhelming approval to a compromise crime bill that includes a so-called three strikes provision.  It bans  parole for  people who been convicted of violent crimes on three separate occasions. Opponents claim it will disproportionately impact blacks and Hispanics. Legislators in Massachusetts  have debated a so-called three strikes law for more than a decade, with renewed momentum after the killing of Woburn police officer by a parolee in 2010.. The bill also reduces mandatory minimum sentences for some non-violent drug offenses.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.