Boston’s chief prosecutor is using a long-dormant state statute to lock up career criminals in a strategy that saves the state money and is a secret weapon behind falling crime rates, says the Boston Herald. “This work we're doing is aimed at those who haven't got the message,” said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. “Once you get them off the street, the whole community becomes a lot safer.” The 1998 statute allows certain suspects – even those nabbed for relatively minor gun offenses – to be prosecuted under the armed career criminal charge, which carries a hefty prison sentence. Boston crime reached record lows last year thanks in part to the campaign, authorities say.
Police Commissioner Edward Davis says “there's a very small number of bad actors that are driving the bulk of the crime we see on the street. I agree with that,” Conley said. Prosecutions under the law had been done rarely for years because they require an extraordinary draw on resources. They are being brought now based on a calculation that one career criminal prosecution is more effective than spending years prosecuting a suspect for repeat offenses that carry short prison terms.