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Senators Unveil Parole Reform Bill

A bipartisan group of state senators is seeking to toughen and reform the state's Parole Board.

The move comes nearly a month after Woburn police officer Jack Maguire was killed during a robbery shootout with Dominic Cinelli, a career criminal who was free on parole despite being sentenced to three life sentences. Cinelli was also killed in the shootout.

The bill would ban parole for individuals serving more than one life sentence. Those given a single life sentence would have to serve 25 years before being eligible for parole, instead of the current 15 years.

Eight senators — four Republicans and four Democrats — unveiled the bill Monday.

"Everyone, I think, believes that everyone deserves a second chance," said Sen. Steven Baddour, (D-Methuen), one of the bill's co-sponsors. "But no one, when it comes to violent crime, deserves a third, fourth or fifth chance."

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr says it's inexcusable to release anyone who could be a threat to public safety.

"The lives of public safety personnel can all to often be at risk when they don't need to be if our parole system means something," Tarr said.

The bill would require at least three board members to have a law enforcement background. Parole hearings couldn't be held without two of those members. It also removes a requirement that board members hold four-year degrees.

Since Maquire's death, the five members of the board who voted to release Cinelli have resigned. Gov. Deval Patrick is currently looking for replacements.

Earlier:

This program aired on January 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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