To the Editor:
I cannot thank Rep. Brad Hill enough for all the work he did to make Melissa's Law, the state's new habitual offender law, a reality.
Brad was the first legislator to sponsor Melissa's Bill following the 1999 murder of my daughter, Melissa Gosule, by a 27-time convicted felon. Brad was among the first to stand with me, even when others said the bill had no chance of passing. Indeed, the bill remained locked up in the judiciary committee for 10 years, until 2011.
Yet Brad Hill never gave up. What we lacked in political influence - compared to the powerful criminal defense industry - we had in firm moral conviction and common sense. Brad knew that it was just crazy to keep releasing 5, 20, 50-time violent offenders who just continued to commit crimes over and over again.
Unfortunately, it took the murder of Woburn police officer Jack Maguire in 2010, by a 74-time violent offender, to galvanize public demand to finally pass Melissa's Bill.
Once again, Brad Hill rose to the occasion. As a member of the legislative conference committee, he made many valuable contributions to crafting the final bill, including adding seven sex crimes against children to the final bill which became law.
I doubt Melissa's Bill would now be law without the tenacious and skilled work of Rep. Brad Hill.
Residents of the Fourth Essex district are fortunate to have Brad Hill as their state representative. And I'm fortunate and proud to call Brad Hill my friend.