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"With the system that we have in place today, if an erroneous conviction does occur, we can confer the appropriate freedom and liberty on an individual. I think that is a much, much better option for all of us, rather than a lifelong regret that an innocent person's life was taken."
 image of a Officer of the Peace with Tom Finneran
-Speaker Tom Finneran
Speaker Finneran believes that murderers should be punished by having their freedom taken away for life in state prison without the possibility of parole, and that restitution should be made to the victim's family.

Tom Finneran began his legislative career supporting capital punishment, but in 1982, he changed his position after meeting a gentleman who had been wrongly convicted. Bobby Jo Leaster had served 15 years for a capital crime he did not commit when he was exonerated with the help of a number of journalists and lawyers. At this point, Tom Finneran reevaluated his position because he recognized that "this gentleman could have had his life taken from him on the basis of a vote that I had taken."

Voter Record: Death Penalty
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
   # H. 4003. This bill would authorize Massachusetts to reinstate the death penalty. House rejected. (Y94 N60) 3/12/01
 #   H.3963 On acceptance of a House report of the committee on Criminal Justice which recommended that legislation reinstituting the death penalty in the Commonwealth should not pass. House accepted the report, prohibiting reinstating the death penalty. (Y80 N73) 3/29/99
   # S. 1982. This bill would authorize Massachusetts to reinstate the death penalty. House rejected. (Y80 N80) 11/6/97
   # H. 4716. This bill would restore the death penalty in Massachusetts by providing for execution by lethal injection for certain first degree murderers. House rejected. (Y73 N83) 6/28/95