Gov. Charlie Baker Pushes to Close Loophole, Keep Dangerous Criminals Behind Bars - NECN


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Gov. Charlie Baker Pushes to Close Loophole, Keep Dangerous Criminals Behind Bars



    Baker Wants Dangerous Criminals to Remain Behind Bars

    Gov. Charlie Baker is calling for Massachusetts to close a loophole and keep dangerous criminals in custody.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018)

    Following the recent killings of two police officers in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a new proposal aimed at keeping dangerous criminals behind bars.

    During a press conference Thursday, Baker formally introduced "An Act to Protect the Commonwealth from Dangerous Criminals." It calls for comprehensive reforms to how the state determines whether a person should receive a dangerousness hearing before they are released.

    "We clearly have some gaps we need to deal with," said Baker. "There are real opportunities here, I would argue, to do some things that are important to dealing with dangerousness."

    The proposed changes to current law would include expanding the list of offenses that can be considered by a judge as ground for a hearing, as well as including a defendant's history of serious criminal convictions in that process. Currently, the latter is not allowed.

    Toddler Towed With Car, Left in Freezing Lot Overnight

    [NATL] Toddler Towed With Car, Left in Freezing Wisconsin Lot Overnight

    A 4-year-old girl was left alone inside a minivan overnight in a Milwaukee tow lot, authorities said. An impaired driver was pulled over and arrested for operating while intoxicated. Officers removed a 10-month-old child from the vehicle but left the 4-year-old girl, who spent the night in the tow lot where temperatures dropped to 19 degrees.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018)

    "It is responsive government," said Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson.

    In April, one of Frederickson's officers, Sgt. Sean Gannon, was shot and killed while serving a warrant. His death marked three officers killed in roughly two years, including the murders of Auburn Police officer Ron Tarentino and Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna. In Gannon's case, his alleged killer had a lengthy criminal history, which included more than 100 charges over the course of his life.

    "With this current system we are working under, was that fair to the Tarentino family? Was it fair to the Gannon family? Was it fair to the Chesna family?" asked Frederickson.

    Over the last few months, the Baker administration has been meeting with police and prosecutors around the state to find out what has not been working under the current system. Based on those discussions, Baker said they came up with a proposal that they felt would better serve public safety, while still protecting those who are innocent.

    "The alarming frequency of these events confirms that the Commonwealth needs to do a better job of holding until trial defendants who pose a continuing danger to others," said Baker.

    While it remains unclear how the legislature will respond to the plan, Baker said he would welcome public hearings and debate on the issue.

    Professor Sues Over Transgender Pronoun Rebuke

    [NATL] Professor Sues Over Transgender Pronoun Rebuke

    A Shawnee State University professor is suing officials after receiving a written warning for violating its nondiscrimination policy by not addressing a transgender student using the gender terms preferred by the student. Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor and evangelical Christian, filed a federal lawsuit this month against officials at the university in Portsmouth. 

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018)

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