Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Declares Community Parole Supervision for Life (CPSL) for Sex Offenders Unconstitutional

On June 11, 2014 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled in the case Commonwealth v. Cole that lifetime community parole is unconstitutional. Before this ruling, certain convicted sex offenders were subject to parole for life in which parole officers were given unilateral power to set terms of probation for the offenders and determine if those terms were violated. The consequences for such violations were pre-set periods of incarceration. The SJC held that such a statute violated the "separation of powers" doctrine under Article 30 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights (the Massachusetts Constitution). The team that litigated against the CPSL law worked very hard and did a terrific job on behalf of one of society's least-sympathetic group of individuals.

As it now stands, people who were previously placed on CPSL are now moving the courts to vacate that portion of their sentence.

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