Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee have squared off on crime issues. Now, the Boston Herald says that as Massachusetts governor, Romney failed to act on disciplinary recommendations that would have kept ex-con killer Daniel Tavares locked up another year – and behind bars at the time he was accused of killing a newlywed couple in Washington State. Despite Tavares' long history of violence, the Romney-led corrections department took no action on recommendations that he be stripped of “good time” because of assaults on prison guards in 2003 and 2005.
Instead, Tavares was allowed to cash in on those 360 days of “good time” to get out of prison July 16, 2007, sources said. It was just 123 days later that newlyweds Brian and Beverly Mauck were slaughtered in Graham, Wa. “If that time had been (served), he would still be incarcerated and would not have killed those two individuals,” said one source familiar with the probe launched by the administration of current Gov. Deval Patrick. “Tavares' pattern of behavior before and during incarceration pointed to a person who was going to do this.” Romney has criticized the early release of Tavares by a judge, but the “good time” could have been revoked administratively while he was governor under the state prison disciplinary process. The investigation into the Tavares case found that Romney administration mistakes were part of a broader pattern that stretched back to 1993. The probe uncovered six disciplinary complaints against Tavares between 1993 and 2005 that should have kept him in prison 720 days, nearly two years beyond his release in July.