New violent offender law

08/04/2012


 

The piece of legislature known as Melissa's Bill has now officially been signed into law.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the crime bill earlier Thursday morning at a private state house ceremony. The bill includes a so-called three strikes provision, barring parole for repeat violent offenders.

 

The killer of 27-year-old Melissa ­Gosule, of Randolph, was found to have a record of 27 previous convictions, for which he had served a total of less than two years.

 

“If someone doesn’t get [rehabilitated] the first time, if they don’t get ­rehabbed the second time, why do you think they’re going to get rehabbed on the third or fourth time,” Gosule said during an afternoon press conference Thursday at his workplace in Milton.

 

Gosule teared up several times as he spoke about his daughter and about his promise to his 12-year-old grandson, standing nearby, to protect him.

 

“If this prevents any child, any of us, from getting hurt, then I’ve honored the memory of my daughter in helping others, and that’s what this pen is all about,” he said.

 

State Senator Bruce Tarr, the Republican minority leader. said the law is not a way to trap someone who makes a mistake, but rather a way to keep off the streets those who have exhibited a chronic pattern of violent crimes.

 

“Today is an important day in Massachusetts public safety history,” Tarr said in a telephone interview. “This law has prevailed over confusion, criticism, and obstructionism.”

 

The bill gained momentum after the murder in December 2010 of Woburn police officer John Maguire by another repeat offender.

 

Patrick’s muted signing ceremony Thursday surprised and befuddled Charles Maguire, who started pushing for the bill after his brother’s death.

 

“I was really caught off guard by it, if you want to know the truth,’’ Maguire said in a telephone interview. He said he went to the dry cleaners so he could have proper clothes for a State House signing ceremony he expected to be held Friday.

 

“He [Patrick] said he was happy with the bill and then he signs it in a cloak-and-dagger deal,’’ ­Maguire said. “I don’t know where that came from. If he didn’t want to sign it, then don’t sign it.’’

 

Maguire, who was a probation office at Woburn District Court for 35 years, said that he got involved in lobbying Beacon Hill after his brother’s slaying and that his political activism is partially a form of therapy for him over the violent death of his sibling.


 

 
Attorney at Law