“They’re finally going to have a chance to show that they’ve changed and that they deserve something other than dying in prison.”
ATTORNEY RYAN SCHIFF.
Prison advocates, attorneys and state officials are gearing up to help the estimated 200 prisoners now eligible for parole since a landmark decision last week by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court raised the minimum age to 21 before people could be sentenced to life without parole.
The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the state’s public defender agency, says it is working with the Parole Board to identify prisoners who are newly eligible to be considered for release as the agency prepares at least 40 attorneys to represent them.
Ryan Schiff, an attorney who argued for Mattis in front of the state’s top court, said he has at least six clients who are just learning they are eligible for parole once not allowed to them.
“It’s a feeling of relief,’’ he said. “They’re finally going to have a chance to show that they’ve changed and that they deserve something other than dying in prison.”