Gov.-elect Parris N. Glendening unveiled an array of proposals yesterday aimed at curbing crime, but said the stiff gun-control measures he promised as a candidate will have to wait, given the current mood of the public and the legislature.
In presenting his first policy proposals since winning the Nov. 8 election, Mr. Glendening said he will push legislation that would:
* Speed up death penalty appeals in order to "accelerate retribution" -- an idea rejected by lawmakers this past legislative session.
* Allow police to give on-the-spot civil citations -- much like speeding tickets -- to juveniles who admit committing misdemeanors, such as spray-painting graffiti or getting into a fight in school. The citations would require the youths to perform up to 50 hours of community service.
* Give dual sentences to juveniles convicted of more serious offenses so they would serve time in juvenile facilities until their 18th birthday and then, if warranted, complete their sentence in an adult prison.
* Allow police to notify school officials when students are arrested on felony charges or found to have committed a misdemeanor crime.
* Double from $5,000 to $10,000 the maximum amount of restitution parents can be ordered to pay for the criminal actions of their children. Mr. Glendening said he intends to hold parents accountable, including enforcing an existing law that permits the state to charge a parent with neglect for failing to properly supervise a child.
* Change the name of the Department of Juvenile Services to the Department of Juvenile Justice, an admittedly symbolic gesture "to make it clear that our purpose is not to serve juvenile offenders, but to deter, punish and then rehabilitate."
When asked if these recommendations would be followed by the proposal to license handgun owners that he so visibly backed during the campaign, Mr. Glendening said, "I don't anticipate sponsoring or supporting any additional gun-control measures this session."
His talk of postponement seemed jarring. Mr. Glendening has been an honorary co-chairman of the gun-control group, Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (MAHA), since 1990. He signed a pledge during the campaign to make the MAHA gun-control proposal a "top priority" of his administration.
When Republican Helen Delich Bentley balked at supporting an assault-weapons ban during the primary, Mr. Glendening called her "soft on crime." When Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey opposed gun-control measures, he linked her with the "radical right."
After yesterday's Baltimore news conference, Mr. Glendening's aides moved quickly to clarify that the governor-elect still supports the handgun-licensing proposal and other elements of MAHA's comprehensive bill, including limits on gun sales and restrictions on the capacity of gun magazines.
"It is a question of timing and a question of refining those proposals. That will be for a future session," Mr. Glendening said. For now, he said, "It would be better to focus on those proposals that are on the books."
Tim Ayres, a former assistant to Mr. Glendening in Prince George's County and now a member of his transition committee, said the governor-elect "is not wavering on the principles" he previously endorsed. Rather, he said, "the [strategy] is something we have to work on. This year does not look promising."
He said Mr. Glendening's decision to wait is not just a result of his narrow, 5,993-vote victory over Mrs. Sauerbrey, but "just from being out there and reading the mood of the voters and talking to legislators."
Vincent DeMarco, executive director of MAHA, said that, with a 43 percent turnover in the General Assembly, with legislative committee assignments not yet complete, and with a new administration moving to Annapolis, delay makes sense.
"We're not dogmatic about timing," Mr. DeMarco said. "We completely agree with Governor-elect Glendening about enforcing the laws we have on the books now. We also have been hearing from legislative leaders and friends that the 1995 session is not the right time to be doing this."
On the dual sentencing proposal, Lt. Gov.-elect Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who is co-chairing the transition's public safety committee, said details have not yet been worked out as to which crimes would fall into that category.
She said the point of the proposal is to keep young people whose crimes put them in the adult system from being automatically sentenced to probation, which she said often provides less supervision and deterrence than does incarceration in a juvenile facility.
A law that went into effect Oct. 1 added about 20 crimes to the list for which youths over 16 can be charged as adults, including assault with intent to rape, rob or murder; mayhem or maiming; kidnapping; carjacking and a variety of firearms offenses.
Correctional officials and advocates for juveniles say the law may add from 1,000 to 2,000 juvenile cases to Maryland's adult system a year. Herbert J. Hoelter, executive director of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives in Alexandria, Va. -- a criminal-justice reform organization that has studied Maryland's juvenile-justice system for 15 years -- said that, contrary to Mrs. Townsend's belief, many young people sentenced as adults here do end up in prison. That, he said, does nothing to deter them from crime.