MA Murderers Seek To Abolish Life Without Parole Terms


An organization of imprisoned murderers seeks to shorten its members’ lengthy sentences in Massachusetts, the Boston Herald reports. Headed by two men who murdered their own wives and children, dozens of lifers recognized by the state as the nonprofit Lifers' Group Inc. convene twice a month and have focused on lobbying outside support for abolishing life without parole, starting a Toastmasters club, discussing the backgrounds of the Parole Board's seven members, and carity work, including a Walk for Hunger in their exercise yard to benefit Project Bread.

Judith Hartnett, whose daughter Tara Hartnett, 21, was killed by Lifers' Group Inc. director James Cyr in 1993, said parole for first-degree murder “is never going to happen,” she believes, “and if it does, (Cyr) will have me to contend with.” Michael O'Keefe, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, said, “there's no appetite for taking life without parole out of the equation.” Massachusetts correction commissioner Harold Clarke called the lifers “one of many inmate support groups.”


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