Massachusetts medical parole law allows early release for sick prisoners


(WWLP) – The state’s medical parole law has allowed prisoners who are sick to be released early, but should that law apply to all prisoners?

There’s this accidental loophole with the Medical Parole Act that allows first-degree murderers to apply for release without having to go through the typical legal method of getting a commuted sentence and some lawmakers are trying to change that.

An amendment, would bar first degree murders from being able to apply for medical parole. The current bill allows all inmates to petition for medical parole if they’re either terminally ill with a condition that will likely cause death within 18 months or permanently incapacitated. They must also be able to live without breaking the law and not be a threat to society.

Hampden County Sherriff Nick Cocchi says this current loophole goes against the justice system and was brought to light when John Stote, convicted 1995 Springfield murderer was granted medical parole which was reversed before he was released.

“As much as they are not potentially a risk to society, the family members, the victims family, where is their justice? It’s gone away.” Hampden County Sherriff Nick Cocchi

The parole request currently has to go through the sheriff or superintendent and then is decided on by the Department of Corrections commissioner. But there is no appeal process if denied. Typically, a first degree murderer parole request has to go through the governor and parole board.

Representative Bud Williams, who is for the amendment to the Act, told 22News the amendment has to go through a couple hearings first before it can take effect.

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