Standing in a memorial garden steps from the State House, supporters of a “three strikes” bill that would rule out parole for serial violent offenders urged lawmakers Wednesday to adopt the law before the current legislative session ends later this month.
Les Gosule, whose daughter Melissa was raped and killed in 1999 by someone convicted of 27 crimes, expressed frustration that the bill had not yet passed a legislative conference committee.
“I’m getting some great hugs, but I’m not getting the bill,” he said.
Versions of the bill have passed in the Senate and House of Representatives, but a conference committee has not yet ironed out differences between the two versions.
The legislation is commonly referred to as a “three strikes” law, because it would rule out parole for those convicted in three violent felonies.
Gosule rejected that characterization, which evokes a controversial California law, saying the bill in Massachusetts narrowly targets violent offenders.
Representative James J. Dwyer, a Woburn Democrat, agreed.
“We’re talking the worst of the worst,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer invoked the memory of John Maguire, a Woburn police officer who was shot and killed in 2010 by a man with a long criminal history who was out on parole.
“The city of Woburn lives with this every day,” Dwyer said.