Posted inCriminal Justice, Opinion

District attorneys abuse mandatory minimum drug sentences

AS LAST MONTH’S MassINC poll reports, two-thirds of Massachusetts residents believe that drug use should be treated as a health problem rather than as a crime. And only 8 percent of Massachusetts residents agree with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that mandatory minimum sentencing is a wise criminal justice policy. But our drug laws haven’t changed […]

Posted inPolitics, The Download

Gants v Conley: Time for a real debate?

The Boston Globe delivered an editorial spanking to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley over the weekend for questioning the political activity of Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants. Gants has been leading the charge for doing away with mandatory minimum sentencing in most cases, an issue that the Globe editorial page is also […]

Posted inCriminal Justice, The Back Story

Bishops press Beacon Hill for criminal justice reform  

THE STATE’S FOUR Catholic bishops are adding their voices to those calling for the Legislature to take up a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill when lawmakers reconvene for a new session next month. In a letter sent last week to state leaders, the bishops urged adoption of “comprehensive thoughtful reforms” that can “reduce recidivism and […]

Posted inCriminal Justice

We need to reverse course on mandatory minimums

AT LAST MONTH’S second annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Summit, we heard two opposing views on the public safety impact of mandatory sentences for drug offenders. One camp, represented by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, held that the practice has been a costly failure, with particularly dire consequences for minority communities. The other […]