Coverage of Massachusetts from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

A court officer listened at the House Chamber doorway on Friday while Speaker DeLeo read a statement about reports of sexual harassment in the building.
Sam Doran / State House News Service
Sens. Spilka, Brownsberger, and Rosenberg spoke to reporters after the Senate adjourned early Friday morning.
Andy Metzger / State House News Service

The Senate passed legislation early Friday that could make drug traffickers in Massachusetts liable for murder while substantially reducing other criminal penalties for drug dealing in an effort to reduce the state's prison population and give offenders a better chance at turning around their lives.

Rat-a-tat-tat came the verdicts.

Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. The jury had made its decision, bringing forth convictions for mail fraud, racketeering, for putting adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud and mislead.

The verdicts came in a relentless chain of humiliation for Glenn Chin, the former supervisory pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center.

And yet his attorneys were quietly overjoyed. They had beaten the murder charges.

Hampden County Jail in Ludlow, Mass.
File photo / MassLive

The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday begins debate on criminal justice legislation designed to reduce the number of people incarcerated. But there's uncertainty over what it means for the state budget.

State Sen. William Brownsberger, at right, has proposed a criminal justice bill that he says is about "lifting people up."
Sam Doran / State House News Service

The Massachusetts Senate begins debate Thursday on a wide-ranging criminal justice bill

Michael Buscemi of Springfield (right) took Sen. Lesser's bus to Boston to testify at the Transportation Committee hearing. "I'm just a big advocate of the economic value of having a train," Buscemi said.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Chris Trotta has traveled countless times the roughly 100 miles from his Longmeadow, Massachusetts home to the Boston hospital where his sons received treatment for kidney abnormalities. On Tuesday, he made the familiar trek to push for a new link -- by rail -- between the state's capital and its largest city west of Worcester.

U.S. Capitol
Dion Hinchcliffe / Creative Commons

While the White House considers the payments a bailout for insurers, the Massachusetts congressional delegation wants to make sure President Donald Trump knows how thousands of Bay State families will be negatively impacted by his decision to end federal subsidies used by insurers to keep consumer costs down.

John H Gray / Creative Commons

This week on Beacon Hill, lawmakers hear from western Massachusetts residents who say the region needs to be connected to Boston and Worcester by high-speed rail. 

George Perrot in a 1985 Springfield police mug shot.
Springfield Police Dept.

There could be far-reaching consequences now that prosecutors have dropped charges against a western Massachusetts man who spent 30 years in prison for a rape he says he did not commit.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

In her day job, Chicopee, Massachusetts, attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud does family law -- divorce, custody, child support. But on her own time, she's filed civil rights lawsuits on behalf of Muslim communities who feel threatened, especially African-American Muslims like herself.