Testimony, Raise the Felony Larceny Threshhold

H.967 / S.873  Sponsors: Senators Jehlen & Eldridge, Representative Chynah Tyler

Please submit testimony in support of raising the felony threshold to $1500.  Testimony should be submitted to the:

Joint Committee on Judiciary

Suggested draft for you letter:

To: Senator William Brownsberger and Representative Claire Cronin, Joint Committee on Judiciary Chairs

Re: Testimony in Support of Raising the Felony Larceny Threshold from $250 to $1500 

To the Honorable Senator Brownsberger and  Representative Cronin

I’m writing to express my support of raising the threshold for felony larceny.  Having a felony charge on a person’s criminal record makes it exceedingly difficult for a person to reintegrate to their community post-release from prison.  Senator Brownsberger, your post on March 14th summarized the problems faced by people with a felony on their record and the reasons why the felony threshold must be raised.  Thank you for writing this thoughtful article.

Summary:

  • A felony conviction takes 10 years to remove from a person’s record as opposed to a misdemeanor charge which can be removed from a person’s record after 5 years.
  • Four other states have a threshold of  $2,000 and five are set at $1500.  Massachusetts is currently at the very bottom nationally, with only two other states lower.
  • Other stated that have increased the felony larceny threshold have not seen an increase in crime.
  • There are approximately 40,000 larceny charges per year in our courts.  Most are resolved without a conviction.  Larceny under $10,000 almost never result in prison sentences.  This is understood as an indication that judges view these crimes as misdemeanors.
  • People with a petty theft charge should not bear the same stigma as violent criminals.

I respectfully request that you support this bill with a favorable vote.

Sincerely,

(Include your full name and full address)

 

 

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