“Keeping Marylanders safe is my responsibility… we must ensure that we are working together and using every tool and resource at our disposal to track down, arrest, convict, and bring these violent criminals to justice. ” -Governor Larry Hogan
Governor Hogan has announced a number of important new initiatives in the state’s continued efforts to help Baltimore City address its single most urgent issue: the murders, shootings, and out-of-control violence.
Tougher sentences for violent offenders
Since 2015, law enforcement has seized nearly 11,800 guns in Baltimore City. The city will never get control of the violence if we can’t get violent criminals off the streets. The Violent Firearms Offenders Act of 2020 significantly toughens penalties for offenders who use and illegally possess firearms, as well as those who illegally supply firearms to criminals.
A crackdown on witness intimidation
Unsuccessful prosecution is, in many cases, affected by the lack of witness testimony. All too often, cases fall apart and violent felons and murderers continue to walk the streets because witnesses are being intimidated. The Witness Intimidation Prevention Act of 2020 toughens penalties for witness intimidation resulting in serious physical injury or death, and expands the courts’ ability to admit statements made by intimidated witnesses to all crimes.
Stronger victims’ rights
Behind every violent crime are real victims and grieving families who go through immense pain and suffering. The Victims’ Right to Restitution Act of 2020 will make restitution orders to victims of crimes mandatory.
A right to know about sentencing
The public has a right to know about how our criminal justice system deals with violent offenders. The Judicial Transparency Act of 2020 will require the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy to track and publish detailed information on the sentences that are handed down by judges for violent crimes.
More prosecutors to fight violent crime
In September 2019, Governor Hogan directed the Attorney General’s Office to investigate and prosecute violent crimes, crimes related to firearms, and organized crime in Baltimore City. The governor’s budget will fund 25 new positions in the Attorney General’s Office for these additional prosecutors and support staff.
A new approach to tackling juvenile crime
Governor Hogan has launched a collaborative, comprehensive juvenile crime strategy through a partnership with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and city leaders to curb the number of violent youthful offenders in Baltimore.
Continued record state support
Since taking office, Governor Hogan has committed $6.32 billion for local aid to Baltimore City, including more than $1 billion for public safety and crime control efforts. He recently announced another $21 million in funding for the city’s crime-fighting efforts.
- Enacted tough legislation to tackle violent crime, including a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act statute that allows prosecutors to better target drug traffickers and criminal enterprises
- Consistently introduced legislation to increase penalties for those who repeatedly commit crimes with firearms, and for those who illegally possess and distribute illegal firearms
- Provided more than $1 billion for public safety and crime control efforts in Baltimore City
- Enacted the Enhanced Visibility Patrol Initiative, through which state law enforcement officers patrol high crime areas to detect and deter criminal activity
- Expanded Project Exile to provide state funding for additional federal prosecutors dedicated to charging repeat violent offenders with federal crimes
- Pushed for a joint strike force comprised of more than 200 law enforcement officials from 18 allied law enforcement agencies focused on disrupting and dismantling violent crime organizations
- Created the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network to allow for better data sharing among local, state, and federal law enforcement to better target criminal enterprises
- Enacted the most sweeping bipartisan criminal justice reform in a generation with Justice Reinvestment Act
- Enacted legislation to increase penalties for impaired drivers, and for repeat impaired driving offenders
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