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By Michael Dresser and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2014
Prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs gathered in Annapolis Tuesday to push back against the growing movement to decriminalize possession of small amounts or marijuana or to legalize recreational use of the drug altogether. At a news conference and at a Senate hearing, law enforcement leaders warned that loosening marijuana laws would undermine drug enforcement across the board. They said it would be premature to pass a bill following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot, and opposed a separate measure that would treat possession as a minor civil offense.
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NEWS
By Justin George and Brandi Bottalico, The Baltimore Sun | February 12, 2014
The topic of crime has become so contentious in Southeast Baltimore that Sarah Fox removed herself from her community's Facebook page because she couldn't take the arguing. Fox feels safe in her home along Patterson Park, but her neighbors have been shaken by a spike in area violence. The robbery at gunpoint of a 12-year-old walking to school, the daytime rape of a woman in an alleyway and the killing of a woman in her home have put many on edge in this relatively well-to-do area that contains some of the city's fastest-growing neighborhoods.
NEWS
February 8, 2014
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts recently argued that marijuana should not be legalized because its sales have contributed to the increase in homicides this year ("Baltimore Police commissioner not in favor of marijuana legalization," Jan. 30). Among other things, the commissioner said that "if you call a guy who has weed, and you meet him in a dark alley ... those are ending up in very problematic ... situations. " What Mr. Batts fails to grasp, however, is something that I learned the hard way in my 34 years as a police officer: It is the very illegality of these drugs that creates violence around them.
NEWS
By Jack Vaughan and Ed Kardauskas | February 5, 2014
If it seems that tragedies like the shooting at The Mall in Columbia last month are becoming more frequent, it's because they are. That's what a new study published in the FBI's Law Enforcement Bulletin last month concluded. It found that since 2009, active shooter events have more than tripled in frequency, and the numbers of people killed or injured have risen sharply too. How should society respond to such a trend? Certainly it should seek ways to prevent such tragedies before they occur, but it should also look for ways to limit casualties when they do. Nothing is more effective in limiting the loss of life than proper training.
NEWS
February 5, 2014
A report released this week from the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint venture between two Midwestern law schools, hails 2013 as a "record-breaking" year for exonerations - though the term is used loosely. Overturned convictions may have little to do with the establishment of actual innocence and more to do with the discovery of mistakes or misdeeds in the legal proceedings. Around the country, at least 87 convictions were overturned last year, including two in Maryland - one because information about the unreliability of a key witness was withheld from the defense and the other because DNA analysis revealed another man committed the crime.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
Maryland legislators will consider a package of laws to curb electronic surveillance by police, requiring a search warrant to use drones, email, cellphone towers or license plate readers to track people. Measures sponsored by a bipartisan pair of senators come amid a national debate over government surveillance after revelations about the extent to which the National Security Agency collects information on U.S. citizens. The Maryland legislation would go further than federal privacy laws but apply only to state and local police forces.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2014
Maryland law enforcement workers need more guidance in dealing with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to a commission formed after a man with Down syndrome died in a struggle with Frederick County sheriff's deputies. Gov. Martin O'Malley created the Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in September after Robert "Ethan" Saylor, 26, died Jan. 12 after deputies attempted to remove him from a Frederick movie theater.
NEWS
By E.J. Fagan | November 25, 2013
U.S. law enforcement officials have been shutting down giant illegal marketplaces that do business in "bitcoin" and are beginning to lay out plans to regulate such digital currencies - like we do any other kind of money - by requiring that money laundering controls be applied to the transactions. The virtual bitcoin currency is not backed by any central bank or government and can be transferred "peer to peer" between any two people anywhere. It is created through a complex computer mining process that allows people to earn new bitcoins by solving certain mathematical problems.
NEWS
November 11, 2013
The recent article, "Gansler, Brown clash over domestic violence proposals (Oct 29), pointed out to your readers where two candidates stand regarding domestic violence, so how about giving me an opportunity to express my thoughts on this issue? Unfortunately, I have been a victim of domestic violence. I know first hand what it is like when a spouse hits you, spits at you, attempts to scratch your eyes and uses verbal abuse as well. My experiences from this dreadful situation serve to validate the importance of getting out of those horrendous circumstances immediately.
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