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Bail Reforms Sought In Wake Of Slaying Of Massachusetts Police Officer


New details about the criminal history of the man who murdered a Massachusetts police officer this week have renewed calls for bail reform.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni filed a bill in the Massachusetts House last fall to give prosecutors the right to appeal bail set in District Court.

The DA Wednesday urged legislators to act on it.

"I think this is an opportunity for us -- the outgrowth of a tragedy, no question -- to review and evaluate the current procedures in the criminal justice system, " said Gulluni.

At the time he allegedly shot officer Ron Tarentino in Auburn Sunday, Jorge Zambrano was free on $500 bail. He faced three pending criminal cases, several probation violations, and had numerous brushes with police over the last six months. 

Zambrano died  in a shootout with state police.

Sarno said the bail reform bill is currently in the Judiciary Committee waiting to be reported out.

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.