Proposals for ending mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders is sparking much debate in Massachusetts.

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants was among those on Beacon Hill Tuesday calling for the elimination of what he called a ``one-size-fits-all'' approach to punishing drug crimes.

Gants was joined by hundreds of others at a legislative hearing, including Rachel Mulroy of New Bedford, a member of the Coalition for Social Justice. Mulroy says "as far as changing public opinion, I think we're already there. This is something we see in the news and something discussed on television, so I think Massachusetts is ready for a change."

Mulroy supports the Justice Reinvestment Act, a bill that would invest money in education, jobs and drug treatment for non-violent drug offenders.

But Suffolk County D-A Daniel Conley, speaking for several DAs, argued that abolishing all mandatory minimums would be a return to failed criminal justice policies of the past.


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