Petition Calls For Change to Domestic Violence Laws

Following the murder of a Waltham woman, residents decided to step in to try and fix a "gaping flaw" in the state law.

Photo via Facebook

Photo via Facebook

Outraged by the fact that the man accused of murdering a Waltham woman just a day after he was let out of jail for allegedly assaulting her, people are calling for changes in state law when it comes to offenders being released after committing certain crimes.

Fallon Williams, of Brookline, started a petition called “Stop Repeat Offenders From Being Released On Their Own Recognizance,” in the days following the murder of Jennifer Martel, who was allegedly stabbed to death by her boyfriend Jared Remy, son of the iconic Red Sox announcer, Jerry. “Jennifer’s fiancé had a history of domestic violence, yet was released on his own recognizance after [being arrested for] smashing Jennifer’s head into a mirror Tuesday night,” Williams wrote on the petition, which already has nearly 500 supporters, many who claim to be survivors of domestic abuse. “Females murdered by a current or former partner account for 30% of homicides against women each year. In many instances of intimate partner homicide, domestic violence is a precursor to murder.”

Remy, who stands accused of Martel’s murder, is being held without bail. He pleaded not guilty last week to murder and domestic assault charges.

A day prior to Martel’s death, Remy was released from holding without bail after an emergency restraining order filed by Martel was not renewed.

Both District Attorney Marian Ryan, who is handling the case, and Attorney General Martha Coakley, have agreed that the incident regarding Remy’s release should be thoroughly reviewed after people voiced their concern about the suspect being let go.

Some have even gone as far as calling for the DA’s resignation, but Coakley and Ryan have promised to take a deeper look at what could have been done. “It is my understanding that District Attorney Marian Ryan is conducting a full review of all the circumstances involved in this case, as should be done,” Coakley said in a statement. “It is important to get all the facts to determine what, if anything, could have been done differently. It also is time to re-examine the domestic violence laws in this Commonwealth to determine if there are changes that can better protect victims.”

Which is exactly what Williams’s petition hopes to accomplish. According to Williams, “known abusers should not be allowed to walk free without bail within 24 hours of a repeat offense.” Court records show that Remy had a history of violent tempers, and prior arrests for domestic abuse. “Repeat offenders have demonstrated an inability to control aggression, which means being released on personal recognizance will most likely only lead to more violence,” Williams said in her petition being sent to state officials.