Domestic violence bill unveiled at State House - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Domestic violence bill unveiled at State House, but why after high-profile case?

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- House Speaker Robert Deleo and Attorney General Martha Coakley stood side by side with district attorneys from across the state to unveil a sweeping new domestic violence bill Tuesday, one that was spurred by the case involving Jared Remy.

Remy is the son of famed Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy. Jared Remy is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, in their Waltham home. The domestic violence legislation unveiled by Deleo would mandate education training for judges, toughen penalties, change bail conditions and even force judges to write down their reasoning for releasing accused batterers.

It raises questions about why it had to take such a high profile case for something to be done at the state house.

When FOX 25 asked Deleo, he said, "There were a number of bills filed by the folks up here that was already in the process of being debated," but added the Remy case gave it a sense of urgency. "I would say that, what really galvanized me was that particular case."

Reports have shown Jared Remy was repeatedly released, all at the hands of lenient judges.

Advocates against domestic violence are hailing the bill as a major improvement over current law.

"I think this was the straw that broke the camel's back, celebrity or not," said Risa Mednick, Executive Director of Transition House.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley told FOX 25, "I like this bill. It includes a first and second offense assault and battery, with escalating punishment, it requires judges and magistrates to list their reasons for releasing someone on bail, creates that cool off period."

Coakley also served as Middlesex District Attorney for eight years, during a time when Jared Remy was in the system. She told FOX 25 she believes her office was as tough as it could have been on Remy.

When asked if she believes her office would bear any culpability, she responded, "No, if you go back and look our prosecutors made recommendations on bail or sentencing, but am confident that kind of priority for DV cases was something that office has always put forward as a priority."

Coakley said she believes the culpability rests with the judges who repeatedly let Jared Remy go. This bill does continue to give judges discretion.

Deleo said, "Each case is different on its merits and quite frankly we wanted to leave that particular discretion for the judge, but I'm hopeful the judges are going to realize the seriousness and take serious action."

Deleo says he expects to bring this bill before the house next week, and he says he is confident it will pass.

The Senate is working on its own version, but Deleo believes lawmakers could get a bill on the governor's desk within months.

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