The debate about crime and punishment is as old as society itself. Here in Massachusetts it began anew a little over a year ago, when Domenic Cinelli, a man with a long, violent criminal record was out on parole. During an attempted robbery on Christmas weekend, Cinelli shot and killed Woburn police officer John B. Maguire.
The crime galvanized state lawmakers to get tough on violent repeat offenders. Both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed so-called "three strikes" legislation. The bills differ in significant ways, and a conference committee is now trying to work out a compromise.
But they both embrace the idea of denying parole to anyone convicted three times of violent felonies, and now it's up to the legislature to work out a crime bill that balances the possibility of rehabilitation with public safety and cost.
- Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick), member of the conference committee considering the habitual offender legislation.
- Reverend Eugene Rivers, cofounder, The Boston TenPoint Coalition
This program aired on February 1, 2012.