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Coakley seeks review of domestic violence laws

With the alleged murder of Jennifer Martel by Jared Remy raising questions about whether the system failed Martel, Attorney General Martha Coakley called today for a re-examination of the state’s domestic violence laws.

It is time “to determine if there are changes that can better protect victims. I am committed to doing so with the Legislature, district attorneys, victims’ groups, and other stakeholders,” Coakley said.

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“This is yet another horrible tragedy due to domestic violence,” she said in a statement.

Remy, the 34-year-old son of popular Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, allegedly killed his girlfriend, Martel, 27, on Thursday night in Waltham.

“Jennifer Martel should be alive today, but now a daughter is without a mother, and a family is without a daughter who died much too young,” Coakley said. Remy and Martel shared a home with their young daughter.

Remy, who had a long criminal record including allegations he assaulted two other women, was free on the night he allegedly killed Martel because Middlesex prosecutors had decided not to try to hold him on bail for allegedly assaulting Martel on Tuesday night.

The Middlesex district attorney’s office has defended its decision to not seek bail for Remy, saying it took into account all the key factors in the case — including Remy’s history of violence, the physical evidence in the case, and the decision of Martel not to pursue a restraining order, the Globe reported Sunday.

Coakley, who served as Middlesex district attorney for eight years, told the Globe in the Sunday story that “there is no single silver bullet that ensures that we will keep everyone alive in every instance.”

“The most appropriate thing is to say: What happened in this case? Could something else have been done or not? And how do we prevent it from [happening again] going forward?”

Wesley Lowery of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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