Two bills filed this session would give police officers and the courts additional tools to ensure dangerous criminals remain in custody while they await trial.
Governor Charlie Baker and State Representative Angelo Puppolo have both crafted bills that would expand the list of offenses that can provide grounds for a dangerousness hearing.
Under the current law, courts can only focus on the crime charged and must ignore a defendant’s criminal history when determining whether a judge must determine how much danger they pose to the community.
Representative Puppolo said he’s been working with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno and District Attorney Anthoney Gulluni to prevent repeat violent offenders from being released on low and no bail.
“What we want to do is basically a simple concept, just have the Commonwealth have the ability to appeal the decision of a low bail,” said Representative Puppolo.
Representative Puppolo’s bill would give the District Attorney a 24 hour period to appeal the low bail decision in Superior Court.
The Governor’s bill includes similar language to the legislation filed by Representative Puppolo. Both are designed to give police officers and district attorneys tools to address safety concerns.
It’s possible both bills could be combined in committee before they reach the house and senate for consideration.