Suffolk County's Interim District Attorney Kevin Hayden told Boston Public Radio Wednesday that he’s open to the idea of retroactively adjusting sentences for prisoners serving life without parole for crimes they committed where a murder took place, but in which they were not themselves the murderer.

Hayden said that he'd consider a case-by-case review.

Before a 2017 decision that narrowed the doctrine of "joint venture," the law in Massachusetts held that a person who participated in a crime that invovled a murder would be sentenced to life in prison without parole, even if they did not commit the murder.

A report published this month by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team found 23 cases of individuals sentenced to life under this rule for murders they didn’t commit. Of those prisoners whose race is known, all but one is Black or Hispanic.

“I do think we need to look at how to appropriately and properly retroactively approach some of these cases,” Hayden said.

When then-Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants narrowed the scope of the joint venture doctrine, the court’s decision was not applied to cases retroactively. A law currently pending on Beacon Hill would change that, though the bill hasn’t made any progress in the past year. There’s also a case before the Supreme Judicial Court that could have a similar impact.

Hayden said he understands the court’s decision five years ago to not apply the change retroactively, because it would be difficult to determine whether the joint venture doctrine dictated all of the life sentences in these cases.

“I think part of his [Gants'] point was ‘Well, we don’t know how the case might have been tried differently without the felony murder rule in place,’” Hayden said, “which doesn’t require any show of malice [and] just requires that you were involved in the crime where the murder happened.”

Admitting that he wasn’t intimately familiar with this latest bill before the State House, Hayden allowed that some retroactively legislation was likely warranted.

“Other states have led the way with legislative fixes here and I think a legislative fix would be appropriate as well.”