State Roundup: Father of slain daughter, freshman delegate work to toughen inmate early release; public pressure, flawed system prompt lawmakers’ response to juvie crime problem

State Roundup: Father of slain daughter, freshman delegate work to toughen inmate early release; public pressure, flawed system prompt lawmakers’ response to juvie crime problem

FATHER, FRESHMAN DELEGATE SEEK TO TOUGHEN EARLY RELEASE: In Maryland, most inmates can earn early release credits, known as “diminution credits,” for good conduct, education, work tasks, and other special projects, to shave time off of the length of their sentence. Many can earn 20 to 30 days a month. The only exceptions are convictions for certain sexual crimes involving victims under 16 years and those imprisoned for violating their lifetime sexual offender supervision. Working to toughen that process are one father, whose daughter was killed by an early release sex offender, and a freshman Del. Elizabeth Embry. Glynis Kazanjian/Maryland Matters.

PUBLIC PRESSURE, FLAWED SYSTEM PROMPTED JUVENILE CRIME RESPONSE: When children commit crimes, “it hits people in a very emotional place,” said Del. Luke Clippinger, acknowledging that the public expects lawmakers to have an “outsized response” to youth crime. So, was the public pressure a factor in their decision making? “There is some response,” he said. “But at the same time, there’s an acknowledgement that the system has some flaws that need to be addressed.” Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

OPINION: NUTS & BOLTS OF JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM: Given the public’s continued concern about youth crime in Maryland, it was no surprise that top Democrats in Annapolis formally unveiled plans to strengthen accountability in Maryland’s juvenile justice system. But make no mistake, their idea of accountability centers on improving outcomes for all. Perhaps the most important part of the proposals unveiled last week at the State House is that they will finance greater third-party scrutiny of the system. Editorial Board/The Baltimore Sun.

BILL INTRODUCED FOR EXCISE TAX ON GUNS, AMMO TO FUND TRAUMA SYSTEM: Long-promised legislation on a proposed excise tax on guns and ammunition to fund Maryland’s trauma system was filed late last week. According to Senate Bill 784, sponsored by Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel), an 11% excise tax would be imposed on the gross receipts of firearms, firearms accessories and ammunition. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

FREDERICK CO SEEKS TO REPLACE 20% OF FLEET WITH EVs: About half of Frederick County’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, and the county government plans to address that, in part, by replacing portions of its vehicle fleet with electric vehicles over the next decade. Cody Boteler/The Baltimore Banner.

WASHINGTON CO SEEKS ELECTIONS JUDGES FOR PRIMARY: The Maryland primaries are scheduled for May 14, and if you’d like to help out at the polls — and make a little extra money — now is the time to sign up. The Washington County Board of Elections hopes to have 670 election judges available to run the primaries here, Elections Director Barry Jackson said. Tamela Baker/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

MOSBY CASE GOES TO JURY: Jurors will return to court Tuesday to determine whether former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby committed mortgage fraud to buy two vacation homes in Florida. After hearing closing statements Monday from prosecutors and defense attorneys in the trial, jurors were left with two competing visions of what the case was about. Jean Marbella/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Mosby, 44, a Democrat who served two terms as the city’s top prosecutor from 2015 to 2023, is charged in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt with two counts of making a false statement on a loan application. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

COLUMN: THE POLITICAL BURDEN OF ‘FRIENDSHIP:’ Throughout this long soap opera — the Angelos family feud over the stewardship of the Baltimore Orioles, the protracted negotiations for a new team lease … the governor’s very public celebration of a 30-year lease that wasn’t, … and now the surprising sale of the team to a billionaire and his partners — we kept hearing that Gov. Wes Moore and Orioles CEO John Angelos were friends. But it took state Treasurer Dereck Davis to be honest: “I feel lied to,” he said. “I feel misled.” If a state official — any government official — is not burdened with “friendship,” it becomes a lot easier to be objective and honest. Dan Rodricks/The Baltimore Sun.

B’MORE MAYOR HOPEFUL INTENDS TO KILL HARBOR REDEVELOPMENT DEAL: Baltimore mayoral candidate Thiru Vignarajah pledged Monday to block a $900 million redevelopment proposal for Baltimore’s Harborplace, calling it a “backroom deal” and an “exclusive resort for the wealthiest of the wealthy.” Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

MO CO SCHOOLS TO TAP FORMER N.C. SUPERINTENDENT: Montgomery County’s school board announced Monday that it intends to appoint a former North Carolina schools superintendent as the district’s interim leader days after Monifa B. McKnight stepped down. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

HOWARD COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST GAZA CEASE-FIRE RESOLUTION: The Howard County Council introduced and voted against passage of a cease-fire resolution in Gaza without a public hearing late Monday, a decision that prompted protests from people who said the council should have taken the issue more seriously. Abby Zimmardi/The Baltimore Banner.

COMMENTARY: A BLACK ENTREPRENEUR HELPS BUY THE SUN: The co-acquisition of the Baltimore Sun by Black entrepreneur Armstrong Williams helps highlight the fundamental truth that economic empowerment overcomes differences in ideology. Let there be no doubt that this purchase is an exceptionally courageous action. Obtaining such a platform is not without its detractors, but I am certain that Williams and his partner, David Smith, will make every effort to guarantee truth, transparency and a variety of diverse perspectives; something that some in the media of today have forgotten. Benjamin Crump/The Baltimore Sun.

HE BROUGHT CIVILITY: EX-MT. AIRY COUNCILMAN BOB KING JR. DIES AT 69: Former Mount Airy Town Council member Robert “Bob” Harold King Jr., who was credited with bringing civility to local government during a contentious time, died Jan. 21 from complications related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. He was 69. Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Carroll County Times.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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