The Special Commission to Study the Commonwealth's Criminal
Justice System has recommended eliminating mandatory minimum
sentences for drug offenses in Massachusetts. The commission voted
9-2 in favor of the recommendation earlier this week.
In addition, the commission voted to recommend parole
eligibility for all state prison sentences after an inmate has
served at least two-thirds of the lower end of a sentence
(excluding murder and manslaughter cases) and to maintain parole
eligibility standards of half-time served on sentences of 60 days
The commission, formed in 2012 by the Legislature, is expected
to produce a forthcoming report on its recommendations. Peter
Elikann, vice chair of the MBA's Criminal Justice Section Council,
serves as the MBA's representative on the commission. The MBA has
been a long supporter of eliminating mandatory minimum sentences
for drug offenses.