Does Massachusetts Need a (New) Three Strikes Law? | Rappaport Center Blue Cross Blue Shield Roundtable
House Minority Whip Bradford Hill, United States District Judge Nancy Gertner (ret.), and Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian led a full capacity crowd in a lively debate of the pros and cons of the sentencing reform bills currently being negotiated by a Massachusetts legislative conference committee. Rep. Hill explained the evolution of “Melissa’s Bill,” which he introduced shortly after the murder of 27-year-old Melissa Gosule in 1999, from a California-type “three strikes” bill to a more narrowly tailored habitual offender provision targeted at the most violent offenders. Others questioned whether even a more narrow provision will reduce crime or just exacerbate prison overcrowding.