Picking Up Massachusetts’ Garbage

Last Friday, at the conclusion of the Hillary Clinton campaign office hostage drama, I wrapped up my flippant coverage of the whole stupid incident with “As usual, I blame Massachusetts.”

Turns out I was downright prescient.

The Boston Herald’s Michele McPhee did some digging on Leeland Eisenberg, past, and it turns out that he has a lengthy criminal record in Massachusetts, the high (or low) point being a ten-year stint in prison for rape. And after getting out for that, he was re-arrested several times for lesser crimes before coming to New Hampshire, where he promptly made himself well-known to our cops before he decided to have his jollies with duct tape and road flares.

In retrospect, though, we got off easy with Eisenberg. McPhee lists several other recent emigrants from the Bay State, alumni of the state’s penal system, who have gone on to alleged greater crimes in other states. The two examples happen to be ones I’ve written about before — Daniel Tavares, convicted of hacking his mother to death, now faces charges of murdering a couple in Washington State, and Michael “Stix” Addison, Boston-area gang member, is accused of killing a Manchester, New Hampshire police officer last year.

My, things have changed since the days of Willie Horton, haven’t they?

If anyone needs a refresher on that name, Horton was convicted of first-degree murder in Massachusetts and sentenced to life without parole. And then he was allowed to take part in a weekend furlough program. That’s right, they “locked the door and threw away the key,” then let him go as long as he promised to behave himself and come right back.

Instead, he went to Maryland, where he committed armed robbery and rape. He’s still down there, serving two life sentences plus 85 years in their maximum-security prison. Judge Femia, when sentencing him, refused to return him to Massachusetts, saying “I’m not prepared to take the chance that Mr. Horton might again be furloughed or otherwise released. This man should never draw a breath of free air again.”

I’m a fairly strong believer in state’s rights, and I don’t dispute Massachusetts’ right to give its most heinous criminals slaps on the wrists and admonishments to not be naughty again. But I’m damned tired of the rest of the nation having to pay the price for their permissiveness.

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