Dukakis Calls For Tougher State Laws On Child Porn, DUI And SentencingCHRISTOPHER B. DALY , Associated Press
May. 25, 1988 1:06 AM ET
BOSTON (AP) _ Gov. Michael S. Dukakis has asked Massachusetts lawmakers to approve a crime package designed to tighten state laws on child pornography, drunken driving and criminal sentencing.
''Over the past five years, we have done a lot to fight crime and make our citizens safer here in Massachusetts,'' the Democratic presidential hopeful said Tuesday in testimony to the Legislature's joint Criminal Justice Committee.
''That's because we've worked together on a get-tough, no-nonsense approach to crime that's based on results, not rhetoric.''
But Dukakis said recent drug-related violence in Boston was ''a grim reminder'' of the expanding agenda of crime issues.
''When we find loopholes in our laws that allow criminals to avoid punishment, or when we find programs that could be strengthened to protect innocent children, then we need to work together and take action,'' he said.
He appealed for swift action on:
-The latest version of his ''presumptive sentencing'' bill, which Dukakis has offered annually in his second and third terms. The legislation would establish sentencing guidelines for crimes and allow prosecutors to appeal sentences they consider too low.
-A bill to restore the state law against child pornography, which was struck down earlier this year by the state Supreme Court on the grounds that it was unconstitutionally broad.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the state court's action, but Dukakis argued that the state needs a law on the books immediately, in order to prevent ''the devastating and lifelong psychological and physical damage'' caused by sexual exploitation.
-Legislation to increase penalties against drivers who leave the scene of an accident. The governor's brother was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Dukakis' legislative package also would allow Massachusetts police to cross state lines ''in hot pursuit'' of drunken drivers and increase the penalties for refusing to submit to a breath test.
For the first time, Dukakis also supported a measure allowing judges to revoke the driving license of anyone convicted of a drug offense.
In his testimony, Dukakis credited the Legislature and his own administration for making Massachusetts safer. He said overall crime is down more than 13 percent in the last four years, the second-largest such decline of any state.