Marty Walsh on Crime
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who voted against the death penalty in the state Legislature, said he would still vote against it, but supports "the process" that brought Holder "to this decision." Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Ed Markey, and gubernatorial candidates Martha Coakley, Juliette Kayyem, & Don Berwick similarly hedged.
There's a Democrat in the White House, and Massachusetts Democrats don't want to cross him or his AG. There's also the posturing aspect of Holder's decision: seeking the death penalty increases the government's leverage to get a guilty verdict in return for life without parole. And to Massachusetts politicians, "Boston Strong" has come to mean looking tough to the nation on terrorism, not "squishy on crime."
The Governor recommended legislation reinstating capital punishment in the Commonwealth. A vote of YES would include the Governor's recommended bill, and would reinstate the death penalty for certain crimes, and with numerous safeguards against abuse. The crimes included: terrorism; killing police officers; torture; or murder-sprees.
The relevant part of the MassDems Platform is Part X, clause 3: SAFETY, JUSTICE AND CRIME PREVENTION: In opposing the reinstatement of the death penalty, Massachusetts Democrats join with other western democracies in upholding the Universal Doctrine of Human Rights. Instead, the Commonwealth imposes life in prison without parole for first-degree murderers.
Bill H. 3834 ; vote number H302
Override Gov. Romney's veto of Budget Line Item 0321-2100, $500,000 for the Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services (MCLS). MCLS provides the only legal aid to indigent incarcerated individuals.
Relevant platform section: PART VI: SAFETY, JUSTICE & CRIME PREVENTION Legal Services: "We support publicly funded legal services to provide legal representation and advice on issues such as housing, employment, domestic violence, health, elder law, public benefits, and immigration. We urge full state and federal funding of such services."
Source citation: Veto Override ; vote number 258
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