Governor’s Council Commutes First-Degree Murder Sentences For First Time In 25 Years

Councilor Mary Hurley said the commutations, the first of any kind granted in Massachusetts since 2014, mark “a new era.” She said her vote was based not on the crimes Koonce and Allen committed but on “what they have done with their lives since then.”

Both Koonce and Allen, she said, were young men “who made mistakes and have paid for them with sentences that were required by law.”

“But the reason they are going to get out is because of the fact they took advantage of opportunities that were presented to them in the prison system” through many programs, she said.