New bill abolishes Life No Parole sentences in Massachusetts

BOSTON — For the second time in two years, there is a bill filed at the State House that abolishes Life No Parole sentences for people who are convicted of First Degree Murder.

Instead, all convicted first degree killers would be guaranteed a parole hearing after they serve 25 years.

It is similar to a bill that was introduced and defeated within a few months in 2019.

“Why do they care so much about cold blooded killers, instead of the law abiding tax paying citizens who elect them?” Karren Fleet asked me today.

In 2004, Karren’s son, David Fleet, was shot to death in his apartment in Natick.

David’s killer is serving a Life No Parole sentence, but if this new bill goes through, David’s killer and every killer serving Life No Parole in Massachusetts would have a shot at freedom.

“My son will not get a second chance and neither will any of the other victims,” Fleet told me.

“These [politicians], either they don’t understand or they don’t care what this type of thing does to me,” Robert Curley, father of Cambridge murder victim Jeffrey Curley, told me today.

In 1997, 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley was murdered in a case that was so shocking, lawmakers came within one vote of re-instating the death penalty.

One of Jeff’s killers, Charles Jaynes, is up for parole, but the other, Sal Sicari, is serving Life No Parole.

The new bill also contains a restorative justice provision, a voluntary program allowing convicts and family members to find ways to reconcile.

“They’re living in a dream world. You think I want to sit down with Sal Sicari or Charles Jaynes?” Curley said. “Talk to some of these people who lost a loved one. I don’t know what planet these people are living on. They are living in a dream world!”

Two years ago, Karren Fleet worked to defeat a similar bill abolishing Life No Parole sentences. Fleet tells me she will fight this one, too.

“I have to do it for my son, that’s the thing,” Fleet said. “We have to continually fight for justice for the victims forever. It never ends.”

Rep. Jay Livingstone (D-8th Suffolk) and Rep. Liz Miranda (D-5th Suffolk) are sponsoring the bill. They could not be reached for comment at press time.