of the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission
Boston, MA 02108
Chair: Honorable Robert A. Mulligan, Chief Justice for Administration
and Management, Administrative Office of the Trial Court
Executive Director: Francis
J. Carney, Jr., Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Massachusetts Sentencing Commission
The Massachusetts Sentencing Commission was established in April, 1994, by the "truth
in sentencing" law, Chapter 432 of the Acts of 1993. The provisions creating
the commission and establishing its mandates were revised and codified as M.G.L.
c. 211E. The commission consists of fifteen members, including three judges,
three prosecutors, and three defense counsel, along with representatives from
the Executive Office of Public Safety, the Massachusetts Sheriff's Association,
the Department of Correction, the Parole Board, the Office of the Commissioner
of Probation, and the Victim Witness Assistance Board. The commission members
were appointed in the spring of 1994 and held their first organizational meeting
in June, 1994.
The mission of the Sentencing
Commission is to promote truth in sentencing by formulating uniform
sentencing policies, developing systematic sentencing guidelines,
and integrating intermediate sanctions within the sentencing guidelines.
In April 1996, the commission
submitted its Report to the General Court, culminating
an intense two-year effort of research, debate, and deliberations.
The result is a comprehensive and balance set of sentencing guidelines
that will provide greater uniformity and certainty in sentencing
so that victims and offenders alike will understand the meaning
and effect of the sentence imposed. The guidelines are intended
to promote fairness and reduce disparity while preserving that
degree of judicial discretion necessary to fashion the sentence
appropriate for the individual offender and the specific offense.
The Report to the General Court was unanimously adopted
by commission members. It presents the philosophical and policy
bases for the guidelines. The recommendation of the Report have
been incorporated into the sentencing guidelines legislation, which
is presently before the Legislature.
Sentencing Commission Membership and
Sentencing Commission Legislation -
Sentencing Commission Legislation - Questions and Answers