Patrick sends crime bill back

Wants ‘three strikes’ provision eased to give judges latitude

Governor Deval Patrick sent an amended version of a controversial crime bill back to lawmakers on Saturday and said he will not sign the measure into law unless it includes expanded judicial flexibility — a change some legislators said conflicts with the law’s purpose and which they will staunchly oppose.

Patrick praised the so-called “three strikes” bill, which makes repeat offenders of certain violent crimes ineligible for parole after three convictions, but insisted that the Legislature amend the language to include a provision allowing sentencing judges to bypass the three strikes rule for some who have served two-thirds of their sentence or, in the case of a life sentence, 25 years.

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