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Massachusetts, Progressive Leader

Massachusetts prides itself on its progressive legal system.  No death penalty (which is why blood-soaked child killer Dzhokar Tsarnaev can face the death penalty only in federal district court).  "Medical" pot available, with recreational pot apparently coming soon.

As this  ABA Journal article explains, Massachusetts is also the leader in another category in criminal law, all depending on how you define "leader."

The article is titled, "Courthouse custodians make more money than new prosecutors in this state."  It begins:

Public defenders and prosecutors in Massachusetts are so poorly paid that they are among the working poor, according to a study by the state bar association.

Assistant district attorneys in the state earn $37,500 a year and public defenders earn $40,000, according to the study (PDF) by the bar association's Blue Ribbon Commission on Criminal Justice Attorney Compensation. Starting pay for these lawyers should be raised to $55,0000, the report said.

"Sadly, the lowest-paid person in a Massachusetts courtroom is a newly minted assistant district attorney," the report says. "Working up from the bottom, the next-lowest-paid employee in the courthouse is the custodian. And the third-lowest-paid person in the courtroom is the public defender."

Meanwhile, unless the en banc First Circuit decides otherwise, Massachusetts will be doling out a fortune for a sex change operation for a murderer.

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