(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Melissa's Bill along with the amendment from Governor Deval Patrick could be taken up again by lawmakers as soon as Monday; however, the family of a Woburn Police Officer killed by a repeat violent offender is upset that the governor sent the bill back at all.
Chuck Maguire is satisfied with the version of the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, but he is concerned that this amendment proposed by Governor Patrick would contradict its intended purpose which would be to keep repeat violent offenders in prison for life.
Maguire is standing up for the bill because he believes it would keep people, like the man who killed his brother, off the streets.
Maguire's brother Jack, a Woburn Police Officer, was shot and killed in December of 2010 during a robbery in Woburn. Dominic Cinelli, the man who pulled the trigger, was a repeat violent offender who was released on parole.
Melissa's Bill would implement a three strikes clause which would bar violent offenders on their third conviction from the possibility of parole.
Despite the fact that the bill was passed by the House and the Senate, the governor sent it back to legislature asking for an amendment that would give the sentencing judge the final say. A judge would have the power to grant parole for some repeat violent offenders.
The bill was named after 27-year-old Melissa Gosule, a Boston school teacher, was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in 1999. Her murderer had 22 prior convictions, but served little jail time.
The bill had never reached the governor's desk before, but gained steam in light of Officer Maguire's death.
With just two days left in the legislative session, Maguire hopes the bill will pass without the governor's safety valve.
The governor says his proposal was already included in earlier versions of the crime bill. He also says state officials could always appeal any parole granted under the agreement.
Statement from Governor Patrick on proposed amendment to the crime bill:
"I want a bill to sign before the Legislature ends its session. I think legislators do, too. If they do, they will enact the proposed amendment. Prosecutors already have discretion whether to charge a repeat offender under this law. The addition of limited judicial discretion would make a good bill better. I urge the Legislature to amend the bill as I have proposed before their formal session ends tomorrow."