Drive-by shooting bill gets another hearing

February 04, 1994

ANNAPOLIS -- Carroll Sen. Larry E. Haines, R-District 5, testified for the second year in a row that judges and juries should be allowed to impose the death penalty on gunmen convicted of killing innocent bystanders in drug-related cases.

The Senate passed the bill last year, but the House killed it.

Yesterday, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 74, which Mr. Haines said would "modernize" the death penalty law.

George M. Lipman, of the state Office of the Public Defender, opposed the bill because, he said, it would increase costs, give prosecutors too much discretion and make the death penalty law -- designed to "be narrow and precisely drawn" -- meaningless.

Jerry F. Barnes, a Carroll resident who is the chief narcotics prosecutor in Frederick County, testified in support of the bill. He offered an amendment to apply the law only to a person who actually does the shooting.

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