Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that he will push crime legislation to crack down on Baltimore’s record-high violent crime and homicide rates.
Hogan met with Baltimore city leaders in a closed meeting Tuesday, after which he said he would propose a massive criminal justice package in an upcoming General Assembly session, the Baltimore Sun reported. The legislation will seek to bring “truth in sentencing” and give longer sentences for crimes, the governor told reporters.
“We’re going to push the legislature to get even tougher,” Hogan said. “So if you say you’re going to get this number of years, you’re going to get that number of years.”
Hogan’s legislative push addresses concerns raised by Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, who claims that violent criminals arrested in the city are getting released too early. Baltimore has seen a massive spike in homicide and violent crime in 2017, but Davis claims that most of the time, the person committing the homicide and the victim both have extensive criminal records.
Davis told reporters that the average homicide victim in the city has been arrested at least 10 times. (RELATED: Baltimore Commissioner Defends Officers In Third ‘Questionable’ Body Cam Video)
“We’re arresting a lot of violent people who commit violent crimes with guns who are not going to jail,” Hogan told CBS. “And so, I believe 60 percent of those cases, the people are back on the streets. It’s outrageous. It’s disgraceful.”
Davis also emphasized the importance of job training and education programs to reduce recidivism, but acknowledged that violent crime must be dealt with firmly.
“Gun violence is what drives crime in our city,” he said. “People who make a decision to carry a gun in this city — and it’s a decision they make; it’s not an addiction — we have to arrest them, prosecute them and lock them up.”
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