Thursday, 4:30 PM
Governor signs bill to crack down on gang violence
Governor Mitt Romney this morning signed a sweeping anticrime bill that creates an extensive witness-protection program and stiffens penalties for some tactics used by street gangs.
Police and prosecutors had pushed hard for the bill to help them stem a surge in gun violence, which helped lead to 75 homicides in Boston last year, the most in a decade. The new law provides $1.5 million for witness protection, increases punishments for witness intimidation, makes it illegal to share guns used in crimes, creates a new crime for leaking grand jury testimony to thwart court proceedings, and makes it easier to prosecute perjury in violent crime cases.
"Our criminal justice and public safety professionals now have a real tool to protect those who join with us to take a stand against crime and violence in our communities," Romney said during the signing ceremony at St. Peter's School in Dorchester.