Longer terms sought for violent crimes against the elderly

February 03, 1999|By Jamal E. Watson | Jamal E. Watson,SUN STAFF

State Sen. Martin G. Madden has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would increase the maximum sentence for those who commit violent crimes against the elderly.

Madden, a Republican who represents Howard and Prince George's counties, spoke about the bill yesterday before members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

If it becomes law, it would provide courts in Maryland with the power to increase by 50 percent the sentences of those who commit violent acts against people 65 or older.

"The calculated brutality inherent in violent crime committed against the elderly should carry stronger penalties," Madden said.

The GOP Senate minority leader said the elderly are often targeted because they are less able to protect themselves.

"They are far more susceptible than other age groups to the adverse, long-term effects of violent crime," Madden said.

"The elderly tend to suffer the greatest financially, physically and psychologically from violent crimes in which they are the victims."

Thirteen states have similar laws that allow tougher sentencing in attacks on the elderly.

Pub Date: 2/03/99

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