Gov. Deval Patrick’s New Tough-on-Crime Position?

So reports the Boston Herald:

The Bay State’s liberal governor yesterday morphed into a tough-on-crime high sheriff who axed the state’s parole board, installed a hard-line prosecutor as the new executive director and vowed to file a tough anti-felons bill ….

Patrick, who opposes the death penalty and pushed to limit public access to criminal records laws during his first term, made the sweeping changes in the wake of an investigation of the parole board’s 2008 decision to spring Dominic Cinelli. Police said Cinelli, who was serving three life sentences before he was released, gunned down Woburn police officer John “Jack” Maguire during a robbery attempt at Kohl’s on Dec. 26….

The governor’s crackdown includes:

• accepting the resignations of five of the parole board members who voted to release Cinelli, along with the executive director’s resignation. He is also moving to fire three other employees charged with overseeing Cinelli;

• appointing Suffolk assistant district attorney Josh Wall as interim executive director and asking him to head up a sweeping overhaul of the parole board’s practices;

• filing legislation today that would install a “three-strikes” rule hitting repeat offenders with the maximum sentence on their third felony conviction of violent “serious crimes”; and

• announcing that the release of criminals sentenced to life will remain on hold until Wall completes his review.

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