Alfred Brissette, convicted of killing Jeanette Descoteaux, might not be released 22 years early after all, according to WPRI.com, and one lawmaker wants a 30-year minimum sentence for murderers going forward.
Brissette, previously scheduled for parole after serving just 13 years of a 35-year sentence for the 1999 murder of the Woonsocket woman he and another man committed for the thrill, was scheduled to be released from prison this year. But WPRI.com and Boston.com report the parole board is reviewing the decision.
Meanwhile, Lou Raptakis, newly elected senator for Coventry's Dist. 33, has pledged to introduce a bill setting a 30-year minimum on the prison sentences for murderers, according to turnto10.com.
The law is similar to one inspired by the early release of convicted murderer Michael Woodmansee, who admitted to killing five-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975 when he was 16 years old. He was caught after trying to strangle paperboy Dale Sherman, 14, in 1982.
Woodmansee was sentenced to a 40-year sentence. In accordance with the laws on the books at the time he earned “good behavior” time that allowed him to shave 12 years off his original sentence in March 2011.
The bill, sponsored by Senator V. Susan Sosnowski and Representative Teresa Tanzi, prohibits those convicted of certain crimes, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping of a minor, first degree sexual assault, and first and second degree child molestation, from earning credits toward early release for good behavior. The Act took effect on July 1, 2012 and applies to all earned time not awarded or otherwise credited to a prisoner's sentence on or before that date.
It passed in the senate in May after passing in the house this year. Woodmansee voluntarily committed himself in June 2011.
That bill doesn't cover the decisions of the parole board. In Brissette's case, he was granted parole, not released early due to time off he may have earned for good behavior or other program credits, according to Amy Kempe, Public Information Officer for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
Raptakis's bill would cover the parole board's decisions about murderers' early release, however.