Wednesday July 11, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - Supporters of a bill that would abolish parole for habitual violent offenders are pressing legislators to pass the measure before the session ends on July 31.

Les Gosule, whose daughter Melissa was raped and murdered in 1999 by a man with 27 prior convictions, and law enforcement representatives have scheduled a news conference near the Statehouse on Wednesday.

Both legislative branches approved the so-called "three strikes" provision last year, but the Senate included it as part of a broader crime bill that would also do away with mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

House and Senate negotiators have been trying for months to reach consensus, but appear to be running out of time.

Critics of the three strikes provision warn it could unfairly target minority groups and lead to prison overcrowding.