Tuesday Morning Equine Flog
Laxachusetts: Letting criminals go -- to NH
WHEN THUGS commit crimes in Massachusetts, too often it is New Hampshire that gets punished.
"I've seen multiple Massachusetts records that are lengthy with virtually no time imposed on the individual," Hillsborough County District Attorney Marguerite Wageling told the New Hampshire Sunday News earlier this month.
In addition to getting lighter sentences than they would get here, Massachusetts criminals can even confess to a crime and get no punishment whatsoever. It's called "continuation without a finding." If a defendant pleads guilty, his conviction can be withheld as long as he behaves himself.
But, of course, criminals tend not to behave themselves.
When they wind up in New Hampshire's court system, they can have long criminal records but few or no convictions. They should have been in a Massachusetts prison. Instead, not only are they free, but they have no previous convictions New Hampshire prosecutors can use to get a tougher sentence here.
What? You want to LOCK UP criminals? YOU HEATHENS, YOU!
Equally threatening to Granite Staters, Massachusetts denies New Hampshire police officers and state troopers access to outstanding warrants for thousands of convicted criminals.
See earlier post for more info on this.
"People tragically have been killed over this," said Stephen Monier, the U.S. marshal for New Hampshire. "It's a huge issue."
But not to Massachusetts. Hudson Police Chief Richard Gendron has met with Massachusetts law enforcement officials since last September to try to resolve the problem. Nothing has happened. Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney has introduced a bill to require police to enter serious violent criminals and drug traffickers into the database within 24 hours and others within 72 hours, but it is given little chance of passing.
Let's see. It's a common-sense piece of legislation designed to infringe upon a scumbag's right to pursue a life of crime with impunity and anonymity. And, it would give Romney a nice feather to put in his presidential candidate hat.
I'd say "little chance" is an understatement.
Come on, what's more important? Protecting the lives of police officers, or hindering a Republican's political career. This one's a no-brainer.
Because Massachusetts police chiefs and the state's Criminal History Systems Board can't seem to decide who should be responsible for putting information into and taking it out of the NCIC database, dangerous, wanted criminals are going free.
Meanwhile, in the City of Boston, there are police officers assigned full-time to the police department's licensing office, whose main function is to scrutinize and record the personal histories of every law-abiding citizen who requests permission to own a gun.
But, hey, you gotta have your priorities in order, right?
Is it really too much to ask that they get their act together and do this simple and necessary task?
Lives are at stake.
Lives, schmives. We've got criminals to coddle, dammit!