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 in late November 2014.
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 or more.
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