Currently, when bail is levied in District Court, offenders have the right to appeal to a judge in Superior Court and then to a single Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Commonwealth cannot.
Mayor Sarno, District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, and State Representative Angelo Puppolo initially proposed the legislation in October of 2015. The pending legislation was introduced after an alarming trend of repeat violent offenders returning to the streets after having to meet and comply with little or no bail after arraignment.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Representative Angelo Puppolo for refiling this much-needed legislation. The intent of this legislation is to give our Commonwealth and District Attorney’s equal footing when addressing violent repeat offenders as it relates to the ability of appealing bail set in District Court. Too often, we see repeat violent offenders involved and charged with guns, drugs and other violent crimes back on our streets and in our community on low or no bail. They have little to no regard for the conditions in which they are released – GPS ankle bracelet, probation; none of these conditions of their release seems to deter these repeat violent offenders from causing trouble in our community and affecting the quality of life for our residents and business community.”
State Representative Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. stated, “At the request of Mayor Sarno, I have refiled this legislation. My colleagues and I will continue to work diligently with the Mayor, Police Commissioner Clapprood, and District Attorney Gulluni in moving this bill through the legislative process.”
While the proposed legislation seeks to give the Commonwealth the right to appeal bail in District Court, it does not take away any current rights of defendants. It is to be one more tool in keeping violent offenders off our streets and to keep our residents and businesses safe.