Photo Credit: Mike Vigneux
The MBA partnered with MassINC for the second annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Summit on March 16.
Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants called for
an end to mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases at MassINC's
Second Annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
Summit on Monday at UMass Boston.
Co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association and Community
Resources for Justice, this year's conference highlighted the
state's judicial branch with a focus on state and federal
sentencing practices and reforms.
In his keynote address, Gants noted that mandatory minimum
sentences for drug offenses are unfair to minority groups, fail to
address the drug epidemic and are a poor investment of public
"I am convinced that mandatory minimum sentencing in drug cases
will be abolished. The only question is when," said Gants. "Why am
I so sure? Because doing so makes fiscal sense, justice sense,
policy sense and common sense -- and ultimately good sense will
The program also included a presentation of new research from
Bruce Western, Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at
Harvard University, and two panel discussions: "High-Performing
Sentencing Commissions" and "Justice for Special Populations." The
summit wrapped up with closing remarks from Attorney General Maura