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MASSACHUSETTS – Call your state rep, voting Wed. 11/16!

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EMERGENCY ACTION NEEDED BY YOU NOW ON H3811: An Act Relative to Habitual Offenders

Today the House submitted its version of the Habitual Offender Bill. This Bill which was rushed into consideration in the House, would result in three strikes sentences in MA mandating life without parole. H3811 is even harsher than the notorious California Three Strikes law, which permits parole after 25 years. It will be voted on TOMORROW (Wednesday). Please call your Rep as soon as possible on Wednesday. After tomorrow, the House will be in recess. [More information at the source.]


I have written and will also call.

I urge you to vote against H3811: An Act Relative to Habitual Offenders.

According to the MA DOC the total custody overcrowding rate for DOC facilities as of June 27, 2011 was 144% and the average cost per year to house an inmate is $45,917. Passing H3811 will only add to our already overcrowded prison system and will further increase our financial burden. From an economic standpoint it is simply not logical to pass this bill. [1]

A study on three-strikes laws by the Justice Policy Institute found that states that did not have three-strikes laws had lower average rates of violent crime and larger average drops in violent crime than states with a three-strikes law. In other words, three-strikes laws do not reduce crime. They also found that in California — a state with a three-strikes law of less severity than the proposed H3811 — the number of prisoners serving 25 years to life for drug possession are more than the combined total of those serving time for second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and rape.[2]

This law is costly and ill-conceived. It would not reduce crime and would disproportionately imprison perpetrators of non-violent crimes, specifically crimes related to illegal drugs. Again, I urge you to vote against H3811.

[Sincerely redacted]

[1] http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsmodulechunk&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Public+Safety+Agencies&L2=Massachusetts+Department+of+Correction&sid=Eeops&b=terminalcontent&f=doc_faq&csid=Eeops

[2] https://www.justicefellowship.org/key-issues/issues-in-criminal-justice-reform/11689-study-shows-three-strikes-laws-do-not-reduce-violent-crime


This law is bullshit, yo. It accomplishes nothing but furthering the war on drugs which disproportionately targets African Americans, women, and lower economic classes. Spread the word.

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Written by tldegray

November 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Social Justice

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