Patrick signs crime bill in private ceremony
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday signed into law a sentencing overhaul that includes a “three strikes” provision barring parole for habitual offenders.
It was a painfully private moment for Les Gosule who wept and spoke to his daughter at her grave site after the crime bill, named in her honor, was signed into law.
“We really had a very special relationship and I wanted her to know that I’m doing my very best to keep her wishes and her beliefs going forward,” said Gosule.
Thirteen years after her rape and murder by a repeat offender, Melissa’s Bill became official. It denies parole to violent criminals convicted three times.
Holding the pen used to sign it, Gosule described the day as bittersweet.
"If this prevents any children or child or any of us from not getting hurt then I have honored the memory of my daughter," Gosule said.
The governor, who wanted to give judges more discretion than the bill allows, was criticized for signing it privately with just a handful of people,
“It was not about a ceremony, it wasn't about photographs, it was about a conversation about how we move the continuing agenda around crime," Governor Patrick said.
Holding his grandson tight, Gosule admitted that even the bill won’t bring back the happiness and sense of goodness he used to feel.
“Losing Melissa took a lot of it away from me. Just took it away. She was -- I love her…special,” Gosule said.
Gosule said he wants to see the law changed so that victims’ family members will be allowed to sit on the parole board.