also built a new automated firearms registry, allowing checks of gun ownership for persons against whom domestic restraining orders have been issued. It contains only registered weapons, she said, but it at least helps coordinate the information that is available to authorities.

In Boston itself, police have a new imaging system for collecting and distributing mug shots and fingerprints. Other cities are interested in connecting to the system.

CALL FOR JUSTICE

In The Stalking of Kristin, Lardner documents the tragic results of blind justice. The father and investigative reporter also makes an eloquent case for a broader re-evaluation of our treatment of convicted criminal offenders.

"... Our tolerance of crime, particularly violent crime," he wrote, "seems to know no bounds. We shrug it off until it happens to us. And when society is confronted with too much of it to ignore, it blames itself more than the perpetrators. It talks of long-range solutions, of saving the next generation with the same kind of social programs that failed to save the present one. We look for excuses to do anything but hold people accountable for their conduct. In the process, we normalize criminal behavior. Instead of being outraged by it, we learn to live with it."

Lardner's call for justice has been heard, and progress is occurring. Today, Massachusetts' Domestic Violence Registry is helping protect other women from Kristin's fate. The courthouse where she sought a restraining order now displays information on women's shelters, hotlines and other assistance.

Provisions of the Omnibus Crime Bill are also steps in the right direction, said Lardner, including -- for the first time -- the right of the victim to tell a judge of dangers posed by pre-trial release of the accused.

*

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MICHAEL CARTIER'S HISTORY

Ref: "The Stalking of Kristin" by George Lardner, Jr., The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995

May 10, 1987 Arrested in Merrimac, Mass., for putting stolen license tags on a car and driving it. Judged in Amesbury District Court, fined $525 and put on probation for three months.

Aug. 30, 1987 (While on probation) arrested for brawling in Lawrence, Mass. Case continued.

Sept. 11, 1987 Warrant issued for his arrest for failing to pay his fine on the auto charges.

Sept. 12, 1987 Arrested for fighting with restaurant employees, released on own recognizance (no checks for outstanding warrants).

Nov. 10, 1987 Cartier in Lawrence District Court for two disorderly conduct cases, put on probation for six months. (No action on Amesbury warrant.)

Christmas 1987 Arrested on outstanding Amesbury warrant.

Dec. 23, 1987-Jan 9, 1988 Confined in Lawrence House of Correction until he paid the fine.

Aug. 20, 1988 Arrested for trespassing. Released on own recognizance.

Sept. 10, 1988 Broke into a Lawrence market, stealing money, $1,050 worth of lottery tickets and cigarettes. Charged with breaking and entering, grand larceny and malicious destruction of property worth more than $250 (all felonies), released on personal recognizance bond of $5,000 (for which he paid nothing upfront).

Sept. 23, 1988 Arrested on felony charge of breaking glass door of a Lawrence store causing more than $250 damages. Released on own recognizance.

July 8, 1989 Sentenced to six months in Lawrence House of Correction for market break-in. Given concurrent 30-day sentence for malicious destruction at second store.. All jail time suspended, put on one year's probation.

Aug. 29,1989 Injected blood into a restaurant catsup dispenser in Andover, Mass.

Late 1989 Moved to Boston.

June 15, 1990 Found guilty of illegally contaminating food (a felony), and unlawful possession of hypodermic needle. Given probation. (Still had six months coming for burglary in Lawrence.)

Oct. 4, 1990 Arrested for breaking into a neighbor's apartment (he smashed through the wall with a sledge hammer). Killed a kitten by throwing it through a fourth-floor window. Charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, malicious destruction