Joint Committee on Judiciary

An Act to protect victims of rape and children conceived during the commission of said offense

This billl would modify General law to give rape victims and their children legal protection from their abusers, so that convicted abusers cannot seek custodial or visitation rights. Contact with their attacker is harmful for the parent of the child concieved through rape, and this bill would end the neccesity for contact.  Currently, Massachusetts does not have these legal protections for rape victims, which leaves these victims vulnerable to further detriment from their abuser.

An Act relative to larceny

Massachusetts is a major outlier when looking at the threshold separating a misdemeanor from a felony in many larceny related crimes.  Our threshold is currently $250.  That is the 3rd lowest in the country and has not been updated in 2 decades.  What would be a misdemeanor in all other New England states would be a felony here, with all the collateral consequences that attach to felony convictions.  This bill raises the threshold to $1500.
 

An Act updating the wrongful convictions compensation law

This bill would update the wrongful convictions compensation statute for the first time since it was passed 12 years ago to ensure that those wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit are compensated in a fair and timely manner.  A person often leaves prison with nothing and it can take up to 3 years for a person to receive compensation.  This forces some to settle for less than they are due in order to receive money quicker.  This bill is designed to speed up the process and to increase the compensation.  We will never be able to fully compensate those who were

An Act decriminalizing non-violent and verbal student misconduct

Statements and non-violent actions by students that used to result in detentions are now too frequently resulting in arrests and criminal prosecutions.  These unnecessary arrests for non-violent and verbal conduct curtail future educational and employment options for the students and increase the burden on our court system.  This legislation would revise current criminal law and prohibit its use for non-violent misconduct in schools, allowing arrest and prosecution only for more serious acts of misconduct.  It would also further define the role police officers have in schools to

An Act relative to medical placement of terminal and incapacitated inmates

This legislation would reduce the amount of money that the Department of Corrections and the Houses of Corrections spend on health care for inmates with irreversible conditions that are terminal or incapacitating.  Under this legislation, a person is deemed to be incapacitated to the point that they no longer pose any danger to society would be eligible for medical parole.  The individual will remain under supervision after the placement and would be reincarcerated if they recover.  Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states without a provision like this.
 

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