Broadside: Justice for Domestic Violence Victims?

(NECN) - In October 2013, Jared Remy, son of legendary Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of murdering his girlfriend, 27-year-old Jennifer Martel.

Although Remy is behind bars while waiting for his trial to start, the Boston Globe dug up his history of of escaping punishment in several previous cases of violence against women - and is raising questions about justice for domestic violence victims in Massachusetts.

Globe reporter Eric Moscowitz dubs Remy "the king of second chances," citing his history of 20 different criminal cases, mostly involving violence against women. In two of those cases, the women declined to testify after suffering threats and harm. Remy was found guilty twice, and both times a judge released him with a suspended sentence.

Attorney Randy Chapman says it's hard to look back at cases such as these and wonder what could have been done differently in prosecuting.

"We've evolved very far over the past several years in how we approach domestic violence cases. Are we perfect? No. But I think you can take a look at this article and say 'There's a better way to do business. There's a better way to approach domestic violence cases,' and hopefully there will be a learning moment here for everybody," he says.

Wendy Murphy says the intensity of Remy's passes might be an aberration because of who he is, but says repeat domestic abusers are also given second chances on a consistent basis.

"It's really lack of oversight and accountability and a lack of valuing women's lives that I think screams out from the article," she says.

Murphy says she wonders why people didn't see Remy as a ticking bomb.

"Even the fact everyone who knew he was violent didn't at least say at some point, 'I'm worried about what's going to happen next,' because we know who the violent guys are, we know what they look like, we know how to look at the factors that are most likely lead to recidivism and increase of severity of violence. He was a very dangerous man very early on, and no body who knows he was dangerous did anything," she says.

There's no evidence that Jerry Remy intervened in any of these cases; however, there's evidence of him hiring a very competent lawyer, Peter Bella, to help his son.

"It's an adversarial system, and the obligation of a defense lawyer is to represent the defendant zealously within the bounds of the law. His responsibilities are dictated largely by what the client says. If the client says 'I'm not guilty, I want a trial,' he has a constitutional right to a trial, the Commonwealth can go forward on a case and a jury of six or 12 people will decide whether or not he's guilty or not," Chapman says.

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