Massachusetts may not need to overhaul its parole policies because Woburn police officer John “Jack” Maguire was gunned down allegedly by Dominic Cinelli, an ex-con who had been paroled two years ago despite his multiple life sentences for an array of violent crimes, says Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, writing for the Boston Globe. “Nothing about the latest controversy over one prisoner's release should serve as an indictment of the entire practice of parole granting,” says Fox. “It would be a shame if a necessary and generally successful process is radically altered based on one failure, no matter how tragic the outcome.”
Cinelli was incarcerated for 30 years before his parole. “This would hardly be considered a mere slap on the wrist for his crimes,” Fox says, noting that he had never been convicted of homicide. He says that the board that paroled Cinelli two years ago couldn’t have foreseen the officer’s shooting, based on evidence now available. “They did not have the benefit of the kind of 20/20 hindsight that critics are enjoying today,” Fox says.