CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

MA Dept of Corrections Held Inmates Longer Than Their Sentences

From The state Department of Correction, staggered by a string of disclosures about its wrongful confinement of at least 14 inmates, said yesterday it is scrapping its system for calculating inmate sentences and is devising new methods to make sure prisoners serve only their legal terms.

At the same time the department also revealed that an inmate previously described to the Globe as having been held 34 days too long was actually released more than two years -- 790 days -- after he should have been.

Lawrence R. Burhoe of Charlestown, who served time for armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, learned of the mistake yesterday.

"How could they do that?" said Burhoe, who was released from prison last April. "I'm kind of overwhelmed. I had told them, 'I don't owe you any more time. My time is up.' "

The acknowledgement that the sentencing system will be overhauled comes eight days after Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke said he was ordering a sweeping review of state prison operations after a Globe Spotlight Team report revealed a series of sentence miscalculations -- errors Burke called inexcusable. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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