Back in the day, say 1992 or so, when Massachusetts was changing all of its juvenile laws every time there was a horrendous newsworthy homicide, Wayne Budd was advising Governor Bill Weld (his predecessor at the U.S. Attorney’s office).
He was the one, according to Fox Butterfield of the New York Times, who advised Weld to appoint an African American District Attorney to Suffolk County. This was an effort to head off any rioting like what happened in LA after the Rodney King beating by the LA police. Ralph Martin, who changed his party affiliation to Republican the day he was appointed, was a 39 year old relatively unknown lawyer. He was formerly an associate in his law firm of Budd and Reilly – yes, that’s THE Tom Reilly, the Democratic District Attorney for Middlesex County.
Wayne Budd is the lifelong personal friend and campaign manager for Tom Reilly, who in 1995 personally prosecuted the Eddie O’Brien case, which was the catalyst that sent children to adult prisons for life without any possibility of parole. This mandatory-minimum sentence was, in 2015, deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.
“The need for more serious punishment for juveniles who commit very serious crimes was expressed by Massachusetts state legislators, district attorneys, the Attorney General, and the Governor, following the initial decision of Judge Paul Heffernan to try fifteen-year-old Edward O’Brien as a juvenile for the gruesome murder of his neighbor.” Christine Chamberlain, Boston College Law Review, March, 2001.
In his Boston Globe editorial opinion of December 8, 2016, A tipping point for criminal justice reform, Budd advocates for reforms in sentencing, especially “ineffective mandatory-minimum sentences…”
Until Wayne Budd acknowledges that it was prosecutors like him and Tom Reilly and their political allies that advocated for unfair sentencing and over-sentencing, I, for one, am very skeptical of his commitment to reform criminal justice.