Hearing to address 2 bills by Jacobs on death penalty

February 16, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The state Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has scheduled a hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday on two bills dealing with Maryland's death penalty, introduced by Sen. Nancy Jacobs, a Republican representing portions of Harford and Cecil counties.

Senate Bill 172 is named for Dawn Marie Garvin, a 1987 murder victim. The legislation would require that if a perpetrator commits a capital crime, the state would be required to seek the death penalty.

"If you are going to have a death penalty law on the books, it should enforced," Jacobs said. "This law would set prosecutorial standards for the death penalty and eliminate the question of unequal application of the death penalty."

Senate Bill 378 would allow the state to seek the death penalty if someone is convicted of more than one murder in the first degree within a three-month period.

"This bill would help prosecutors in situations like that of the Washington sniper, where neither perpetrator would have been eligible for the death penalty," said Jacobs. "Consequently, despite most of the murders being committed here in Maryland, and the strongest case could be compiled here in Maryland, federal authorities have turned the case over to Virginia for prosecution."

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