BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick says he will be sending a crime bill back to the Legislature because he wants a "safety valve" added to a "three-strikes" provision.
The bill that lawmakers approved earlier this month would bar parole for career criminals after a third violent crime. But Patrick wants to give state judges limited discretion to allow such criminals to be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of the maximum prison sentence, or after serving 25 years of a life sentence.
Patrick's office announced on Saturday that he will send the bill back to the Legislature with an amendment.
The state's top judge, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, told Patrick on Thursday that the "three strikes" provision failed to give judges any discretion in the sentencing of violent felons.