(NECN) - On Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley responded to the attacks thrown at her by three other candidates.
Fellow Democrat Steve Grossman says Martha Coakley was for the Bay State's "three strikes" law before she was against it. She says the criticism is "absolutely wrong." She says she supports Melissa's Bill - named after Melissa Gosule, who was killed by a repeat violent offender - which is not a so-called "three strikes" bill, but still aims to keep repeat violent offenders off of the streets. However, Coakley adds she did not support an earlier version of Melissa's Bill when a misdemeanor was a predicate for a third strike.
"The prior version of Melissa's Bill had that kind of [three strikes] provision in it that I did not support, and I know Texas and California and some other states have bills like that. This is really about public safety. This is about making sure people who have committed violent crimes are not eligible for parole so they can do it again," Coakley says.
Republican frontrunner Charlie Baker has challenged Democrats on their charter schools stance. Coakley says she supports charter schools and is behind raising the cap for them - so long as they can be held fiscally accountable.
"I've seen some charter schools that haven't done as well as others," Coakley says, but adds, "Charter schools have lead the way in innovation. They've lead to our pilot schools, our innovation schools. I think they've shown us what should be happening in many of our school districts and I think if we can get those best practices and make sure that our other school districts aren't short changed, we should look at raising the cap."
Independent Jeff McCormick put out a press release Monday wondering why the Attorney General would defend officers involved in the Joshua Messier case against a civil lawsuit. Coakley says she's optimistic they'll be able to resolve the case.
Coakley also opened up to Broadside host Jim Braude about her brother Edward's suicide 18 years ago.
"My sister Mary and I have decided to on the last two years that we know too many families who have children like Edward or spouses or colleagues and there's still a huge stigma around getting treatment for this," she says.