Commissioner Clapprood Joins Gov., Lt. Gov. at YWCA in Support of Dangerousness Bill

Springfield, Mass. — Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood joined Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy at a roundtable discussion with survivors of domestic violence at the YWCA in Springfield in support of Governor Baker’s Dangerousness Bill H.4290.

Protecting domestic violence survivors and their children is a key component of this bill.  The panel heard from a domestic violence survivor and domestic violence advocates who shared stories of abuse and how the Dangerousness Bill could help protect their families.  Commissioner Clapprood spoke of convicted murderer Stewart Weldon, a candidate for a dangerousness hearing, who was released on a GPS ankle bracelet after being arrested for a violent felony.  Weldon cut his ankle bracelet off on the court house steps and when eventually arrested had committed three murders of women and close to 20 victims of sexual assault by Weldon ultimately came forward once he was held.


Items the legislation aims to address include:

  • The right for the prosecution to request a dangerousness hearing for certain criminal acts, such as rape or indecent assault and battery on a child, where the prosecution believes there is substantial danger to the public where the defendant is likely to commit another crime while released or poses a threat to the community and victim(s).
  • Strengthen the consequences for those who are found in violation of their release on bail and/or of pretrial conditions.
  • Create a new felony offense for a defendant that has cut off their court-ordered GPS device.
  • Improve the system for notifying victims of crimes of abuse and other dangerous crimes when a defendant is set to be released.
  • Empower police to detain people found violating their court-ordered release conditions.  The current law does not allow this.
  • Authorize judges to revoke a person’s release when the offender is found violating their court-ordered condition(s), such as to stay away from the victim or from a public playground.
  • Allow bail commissioners and bail magistrates to consider dangerousness in deciding whether to release an arrestee from a police station when court is out of session.
  • Create a task force to recommend adding information to criminal records so that prosecutors and judges can make more informed recommendations and decisions about conditions of release and possible detention on grounds of dangerousness.
  • Clarify the permissible sentences following conviction for certain serious crimes: that probation is not a permissible sentence for home invasion or commission of a felony after two prior significant felony convictions; and that the sentence imposed on a person convicted of committing a felony while in possession of a firearm is a minimum mandatory sentence.

We have provided the email address of all our local state lawmakers and urge you to write to them in support of Bill H.4290

Senator Eric Lesser –

Senator Adam Gomez –

Senator John Velis –

Senator Anne Gobi –

Senator Adam Hinds –

Representative Brian Ashe –

Representative Nicholas Boldyga –

Representative Michael Finn –

Representative Carlos Gonzalez –

Representative Jacob Oliveira –

Representative Angelo Puppolo –

Representative Kelly Pease –

Representative Orlando Ramos –

Representative Todd Smola –

Representative Joseph Wagner –

Representative Bud Williams –

 Chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Senator James Eldridge –

Representative Michael Day –