Thanks for this article, “Gov. Patrick waits-and-sees on crime bill” (Jan. 12, 2012), which clears up misinformation about the bills now in conference committee by emphasizing that the “third strike” can be any felony.
This makes the proposed legislation very broad, even if some supporters of the bills describe them as being limited to people who commit repeated acts of violence.
Rather than adopt policies that will result in increased numbers of people serving life terms for nonviolent crimes, the Legislature should enact sensible sentencing reform that will provide alternatives to incarceration for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and allow for our tax dollars to go to education, health care, drug treatment and other community services that can help people stay out of prison in the first place.
As state Rep. Will Brownsberger, who voted against the House bill, has explained, “Prison is an expensive and finite resource.” Judges should be able to weigh the facts in each individual case before sending someone to prison.
In regard to the Bay State Banner’s Jan. 12 article “MCAD rules ‘probably cause’ in court case,” I have had the pleasure of working with Thomas Flint twice, once when I was empanelled on a jury, and once on an artistic project in the city of Boston.
In both cases, I found him to be a very open, reasonable, kind-hearted and calm person. He was very generous with his time and his ideas.
While serving on the jury of the violent crime trial, I found that Flint (more than any other court officer) went out of his way to reassure the jurors that we were equal to the task before us, and to put us at ease with our civic responsibility.
The man that I met is incapable of ranting at a junior office for 45 minutes. The charges are absurd, and I am greatly relieved that MCAD has ruled in Flint’s favor, as it is nothing less than what he deserves.