Melissa's Bill overdue;
response to misinformation
Criminal activists are spreading false claims in a last ditch effort to kill or weaken the habitual offender bill. Click above for our response.

Baby rape case shows why more mandatory sentencing, less judicial discretion needed - too many soft Mass judges...
Serial child rapist a 'poster boy' for Melissa's Bill
Frank Benjamin murdered his wife, went to prison in 1974, and was paroled. Then in the 1990's, he raped children, went to prison again, and was  paroled again in 2011. Then he raped and beat a woman so severely, he broke her bones.

Boston Herald editorial (3/2/12)
blasts "demagoguery" of criminal advocates on Boston City Council who oppose habitual offender bill.

Worcester Telegram editorial (Dec.'11)
"Melissa's Bill should have been enacted in this state long ago... The Legislature needs to pass meaningful reform that puts the rights of law-abiding citizens of Massachusetts ahead of the bad guys."
Video: Les Gosule & Sen. Bruce Tarr

Boston Globe editorial 10/19/11:
"More than a third of the most serious offenders paroled in Mass... went back to prison for committing new crimes... Senate leaders wisely want to prohibit parole eligibility for criminals convicted of three violent felonies as well as those sentenced to more than one life term..."
> Response from Les Gosule:  "The state's first duty must be to protect the public from violent predators who most endanger our physical safety. I'm pleased that liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, are supporting our efforts to limit the release of habitually violent criminals."

Patriot Ledger: 7/13/11: 
Les Gosule speaks: iron doors, not revolving doors, for habitually violent offenders
Video of March 16 hearing at the State House, beginning with testimony of the Gosule family. 3/17/11:
March 16 State House hearing
Of the hundreds of media stories on the hearing, this one was perhaps the best summary.
Thanks to the four main sponsors of Melissa's Bill who are working hard to protect our public safety:
Rep. Jim Dwyer testimony
Rep. Brad Hill interview
Sen. Steven Baddour testimony
Sen. Bruce Tarr & Les Gosule interview
"The number one responsibility of government is public safety.  When you don't have public safety... nothing else matters.  They should be accountable for public safety.  They have children, daughters, wives.  Don't they care about their own families' safety?"
State House News Service: 3/14/11
Lawmakers hopeful about repeat offender law
“We have talked about this, and talked about it, and talked about it. And we have another tragic reminder that follows on so many tragic incidents. And yet we have refused in this building to act until now,” Sen. Bruce Tarr said. “The clock continues to tick, and every moment it continues to tick until we enact reform means that public safety is less strong than it should be.”
Boston Herald Editorial: 1/25/11:
"The question now is whether the press releases and outrage that followed Maguire’s death will lead to reforms that truly consider the public’s safety over an inmate’s desire to go free. Reform is by no means assured."
Boston Globe: Joan Vennochi: 1/6/11:
A parole bill that deserves a vote
Middlesex DA Gerald Leone, another Democrat, supports Melissa’s Bill. “In this state, defendants’ rights trump victims’ and community rights... the playing field should be leveled.’’
Defense lawyers and criminal justice advocates argue that Melissa’s Bill replaces flexibility with a strict, unyielding formula: Three felony convictions, no parole. Lock the jail cell, throw away the key and the world supposedly becomes a safer place.
> In other words, criminal advocates and defense lawyers want to retain the “flexibility” to unleash 20, 50, 70-time repeat violent felons onto the streets.  They see nothing wrong with the present system. (Editor)
Boston Business Journal: Pat Lawlor: 1/7/11
Melissa’s Bill, sitting on complacent Hill
Melissa’s Bill has sat in the (Mass. legislative) Judiciary Committee for 10 years… so someone must oppose it.  I ask that those who oppose this bill please show yourselves and educate us. Someone must think the bill to be mean spirited or politically motivated. The bill sat largely ignored until someone else was killed by another career criminal. The silence from the opposition is deafening…

Melissa’s Bill is a simple matter of right versus wrong, and when you shine a light on those who are wrong - like those responsible for the Cinelli parole - they have no recourse but to issue insulting statements calling for calm and reason, basically hoping the whole thing blows over.
> Why has Melissa’s Bill been bottled up in the legislature’s Judiciary Committee for ten years?  Consider that 14 of its 17 members are lawyers (compared with 25% of legislators overall).
Click here for names of committee members.
This dominance by lawyers often skews their views, going against public opinion, common sense, and the needs of public safety. (Editor)
Martha Coakley and Scott Brown agree on this!
(Brown previously sponsored Melissa’s Bill as a Mass. state senator)
Patriot Ledger: 1/14/11:
Patrick’s parole plan weak, victim advocates say,"does more to protect criminals than victims"
Legislation being filed by Gov. Deval Patrick to change the state’s sentencing laws would not have kept the man accused of killing a Woburn police officer last month behind bars for good…
The governor’s loudest critics called his plan a watered-down version of Melissa’s Bill, named for South Shore murder victim Melissa Gosule…

The governor’s bill would require an offender convicted of three felonies to serve at least two-thirds of the third sentence before being eligible for parole…

But under Melissa’s bill, backed by House Republicans and a growing number of Democratic lawmakers, criminals would not be eligible for parole after a third felony conviction.

Les Gosule of Quincy, whose daughter Melissa was murdered in 1999, said he was “disappointed” the governor hasn’t adopted a stricter approach to parole eligibility.

“We can’t say to someone who is a habitual offender, ‘We really mean it this time, but we’re only going to hold you to two-thirds of your sentence,” he said.  The governor’s plan, Gosule added, does more to protect criminals than victims.
Boston Globe: 1/25/11:
A bill filed by Sen. Bruce Tarr (R) and Sen. Steven Baddour (D), like Melissa’s Bill, would make violent three-time repeat criminals ineligible for parole, and would require them to serve multiple sentences consecutively, not concurrently.  The senators’ bill would also raise from 15 to 25 years the minimum time which must be served on a single life sentence, and would make those serving multiple life sentences completely ineligible for parole.
Boston Herald: 1/5/11:
Boston Globe: 1/5/11:
GOP wants action on violent repeat offenders

Boston Globe: 1/4/11:
Eagle Tribune Editorial: 1/9/11
Massachusetts, sadly, has a national reputation as a place where criminals are handled with kid gloves and the public ... well, the public just has to take its chances.

"Melissa's Law" has been mired in legislative committees for a decade. It would impose the maximum sentence allowable on those convicted of their third felony and make these repeat offenders ineligible for parole. Legislators should pass this law.

This law is not about Melissa Gosule or any other individual. It's about all of us. It's about shoring up one of the pillars of civilization. It's about reestablishing the premise that the rights of those who live by civilization's laws have a higher precedence than the rights of the barbarians who break them.
Sentinel & Enterprise: 1/16/2011:
Cape Cod Times editorial (on Middlesex D.A. Gerry Leone’e website):
Boston Herald: 1/3/11:
two-time murderer released by parole board commits armed robbery

Boston Herald: 12/30/10:

Lifers gain parole at a higher rate
The rate at which the state parole board doled out “get out of jail free” passes to lifers skyrocketed by 50 percent last year — a shocking spike that enraged state legislators who proposed tough new laws after the tragic shooting death of a Woburn cop.

Boston Herald: Michael Graham: 1/6/11:
Since Patrick took office, the number of lifers getting paroles has soared. As WBUR reports, “back in 1999, under Republican appointees, 13 percent of prisoners serving life sentences won parole on their first petition. Ten years later, under the Patrick administration, 32 percent of lifers won early release on the first try.”

Boston Globe: 1/16/11:
Governor Deval Patrick’s… proposed crackdown on habitual, violent criminals will probably aggravate overcrowding in a prison system that is nearly 40 percent over capacity, according to criminologists and advocates for inmates.

At a time when other financially strapped states are under federal court orders to free inmates to relieve overcrowding or trying alternatives to incarceration, criminologists and advocates say, the Patrick administration’s overhaul of the parole system seems likely to make prisons even more cramped.
> Public safety is the state’s first duty to its citizens, no matter the cost.  The state has the options of releasing non-violent offenders, and/or building more prisons (which most taxpayers would gladly pay for).  But public safety must be the bottom line of all corrections and parole policy, period. (Editor)

Fox News Video: 1/7/11 (sound up):