Governor Larry Hogan recently announced a plan to pursue mandatory minimum sentences for repeat violent offenders in the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session.
The proposal is intended to help stop the surge in recent gun violence that has been a particularly vexing issue in Baltimore City.
Maryland Matters reports:
“We’re talking about taking our communities back and saving lives—the time has come for us to take a stand together. I am calling on city and legislative leaders to support our legislation to impose tougher mandatory sentences for those who repeatedly commit violent crimes with guns,” he [Governor Hogan] wrote.
Hogan’s press office followed up on Saturday with details of what he wants: a minimum sentence of five years in prison for a person who commits a first violent crime with a firearm, with 10 years behind bars for a second or subsequent offense.
The proposal mirrored a bill Hogan proposed in January, The Repeat Firearms Offender Act of 2019. The measure had a hearing in each chamber, but lawmakers never voted on it.
The article notes much of the opposition from lawmakers stems from whether mandatory minimums, which have a controversial past when used for drug offenses, are effective at deterring crime and whether passing such a bill would shift sentencing discretion from judges to prosecutors increasing disparities in the process.
For more information read the full article in Maryland Matters.