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Charlie Baker on Crime

 

 


Passed one of the most comprehensive police reform laws

The horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis brought the issue of systemic racism to the forefront of our national dialogue. We acted and passed one of the most comprehensive police reform laws in the country. The new law bans chokeholds, limits no-knock warrants, and creates a new independent state entity with the power to establish policing standards, certify law enforcement officers, investigate allegations of misconduct, and suspend or revoke certification.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to Massachusetts legislature , Jan 26, 2021

Reform police based on racial equity

S.2963: An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth.

Summary by NBC TV-10 Boston, December 31, 2020: Notable components of the bill include a ban against the use of chokeholds and a call for a task force on body cameras. Sen. Sonia Chang-DĦaz said, "The law will create the first civilian-led police oversight board with subpoena power; it will limit no-knock warrants; it will create a duty to de-escalate for police officers; it will ban racial profiling." The proposal had received some pushback from police unions, but the State Police Association of Massachusetts recognized the importance of the legislation. Some activists have said the bill does not go far enough by not doing away with qualified immunity entirely.

Legislative Outcome:Passed House 91-67-2 on Dec/1/20; Passed Senate 31-9-0 on Dec/21/20; Signed by Governor Charlie Baker on Dec/31/20.

Source: NBC TV-10 Boston on Massachusetts voting records: S.2963 , Dec 30, 2020

Reform police based on racial equity

S.2963: An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth.

Summary by NBC TV-10 Boston, December 31, 2020: Notable components of the bill include a ban against the use of chokeholds and a call for a task force on body cameras. Sen. Sonia Chang-DĦaz said, "The law will create the first civilian-led police oversight board with subpoena power; it will limit no-knock warrants; it will create a duty to de-escalate for police officers; it will ban racial profiling." The proposal had received some pushback from police unions, but the State Police Association of Massachusetts recognized the importance of the legislation. Some activists have said the bill does not go far enough by not doing away with qualified immunity entirely.

Legislative Outcome:Passed House 91-67-2 on Dec/1/20; Passed Senate 31-9-0 on Dec/21/20; State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz voted YES; Signed by Governor Charlie Baker on Dec/31/20.

Source: NBC TV-10 Boston on Massachusetts voting records: S.2963 , Dec 21, 2020

Account for criminal history in dangerousness hearing

We've made progress on criminal justice. But our work here is not done. In deciding whether or not it makes sense to hold a dangerousness hearing, current law requires a judge to ignore any previous criminal history and to focus only on the crime before the court. Moreover, the list of crimes for which a prosecutor is allowed to make that request is quite narrow. Too often, dangerous career criminals are arrested only to be released as soon as they appear in court. This sort of revolving door serves to undermine people's faith in law enforcement and the courts. And it's a threat to public safety.

Nobody wants to see someone's life ruined over a small-time lapse in judgment. But, we still need a common sense approach that provides the system with the ability to schedule a dangerousness hearing when individuals with violent histories come before the court. We owe it to law enforcement and to our citizens to ensure that we're doing all we can to keep dangerous people off of our streets.

Source: 2019 Massachusetts governor inaugural (State of the State) , Jan 3, 2019

2010: charge state prisoners $5 a day for their room & board

In a big shift from 2010, Baker is mostly soft pedaling some traditional MA GOP attack lines (at least for now), such as "Getting tough on criminals":