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Repeat Offenders

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NEWS
January 15, 2013
The woman arrested Wednesday for suspected drug offenses and attempted escape from pursuing officers would not have been on the street if judges had not been so lenient with a repeat offender ("Police chase in Northeast Baltimore ends in Baltimore Co.," Jan. 9). I propose that judges who continue to release such offenders should serve half of the original sentence when they are brought back in for another criminal act. I am certain that The Sun will agree. F. Cordell, Lutherville
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NEWS
October 1, 2014
Michael Phelps was largely forgiven for driving drunk near Salisbury University in 2004 because he was 19 years old. The charge was reduced to driving impaired, his record ultimately wiped clean by the courts. Five years later when a photo of him inhaling from a water pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana hit the Internet, he apologized again, and that incident blew over quickly as well. But what happened early Tuesday morning outside the Fort McHenry Tunnel was different. The man who possesses the most Olympic medals of any athlete in history failed a Breathalyzer test.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2011
Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein announced Thursday the launch of a new "Major Investigations Unit" devoted to dealing with violent repeat offenders — a criminal class that was key to his campaign last year. "Research and data reveal that a relatively small number of violent, repeat offenders commit a disproportionately large amount of the violent crime," Bernstein said in a statement. "By strategically and aggressively pursuing, prosecuting and imprisoning these individuals, we will have a dramatic impact on the level of violence in the city, and as a result make Baltimore a safer place to live and work.
NEWS
December 31, 2013
The fact that homicides in Baltimore City reached a four-year high last year - 234 as of Tuesday afternoon - can hardly come as a surprise to anyone who has witnessed the steady increase in murders since 2011. What did come as surprise to many was city Police Commissioner Anthony Batts' response Monday night to a television interviewer's question about what police can do about it. Mr. Batts told WBAL-TV's Jayne Miller that "everyday citizens" had no reason to worry about the carnage on the city's streets because "80 to 85 percent" of victims of the violence were African-American men involved in the drug trade - as if that somehow made the bloodshed more acceptable because it didn't affect white people.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,andrea.siegel@baltsun.com | September 24, 2009
A dozen repeat, violent criminals got a stiff warning this week from Annapolis police, and Anne Arundel County and federal prosecutors: Commit another drug or weapons offense - even a minor one - and you will be looking at lengthy federal prison time and local prosecutors with no deals to offer. Tuesday's meeting was the first "call-in" held in Annapolis for violent repeat offenders, modeled on similar call-ins for criminals held elsewhere, police said. It is part of the Capital City Safe Streets program.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | November 29, 1999
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- In the stratified world of the U.S. military, a measure of equality is found behind these century-old granite walls. Colonels and privates are addressed by the same title. There is no snapping to attention, no salutes."That's a privilege. We don't afford that to them," says Army Col. Mike Lansing, commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, known among those in uniform as simply "the DB."Heading off to work stations in dark brown work clothes are full Army colonels and buck privates, Navy petty officers and Air Force sergeants.
NEWS
By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,SUN STAFF | February 14, 2002
FREDERICK - The body was found where children play. Nine-year-old Christopher Ausherman had been molested and beaten and left in the third-base dugout of a baseball diamond, an open packet of Pokemon cards still in his coat pocket. The location underscored the crime's horror: a ballfield used for youth baseball and football, a place that felt like the neighborhood's collective back yard. Then there was the timing: The mentally retarded man who is standing trial in the November 2000 murder had a long history of violent and sexual offenses and had been released from a Hagerstown prison less than a week before the child's death, after serving 3 1/2 years of a 10-year sentence for assault.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF | June 7, 2000
Carroll's success with Reality USA, an anti-substance abuse program that offers first-time youthful offenders a chance to avoid prosecution, has made the county a promotional model in Maryland and elsewhere. The county, which launched its Reality program in 1998, continues to lead the state in the number of participants - those referred by judges and parents - and continues to have the lowest rate of repeat offenders, said Terry Ober, Reality's national coordinator. Carroll's program remains the premier model, mainly because of the commitment of its organizers, instructors and volunteers, 244 and growing, he said.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | August 14, 2002
Beginning next month, a new Maryland law will force anyone convicted of drunken driving twice within five years to install ignition interlocks that require a puff of alcohol-free breath to start a vehicle's engine. The law requires a one-year mandatory license suspension before repeat offenders can drive with an interlock, which must be used for a year. The law takes effect Sept. 30. It was passed by this year's Maryland General Assembly and signed into law in the spring by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
NEWS
By Athima Chansanchai and Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF | April 14, 2004
Carroll County school officials continue to tinker with their hotly debated alcohol and drug regulations - easing penalties for students merely present when banned substances are consumed but stiffening punishment for repeat offenders. Superintendent Charles I. Ecker said yesterday that the regulations are being changed to differentiate two levels of violations, separating drug users and underage drinkers from nonparticipating partygoers. "I just don't think it's fair that someone that's not drinking gets the same penalty as those who are drinking or doing drugs," Ecker said.
NEWS
January 15, 2013
The woman arrested Wednesday for suspected drug offenses and attempted escape from pursuing officers would not have been on the street if judges had not been so lenient with a repeat offender ("Police chase in Northeast Baltimore ends in Baltimore Co.," Jan. 9). I propose that judges who continue to release such offenders should serve half of the original sentence when they are brought back in for another criminal act. I am certain that The Sun will agree. F. Cordell, Lutherville
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 21, 2012
Speed cameras have tagged Benjamin Parker's pickup truck 41 times in the Baltimore area over the past three years, records show - enough to have his license suspended 10 times over if those citations had been handed out by a police officer and not a machine. Parker, a retiree who lives in Woodlawn, professed bewilderment that so many of the $40 citations have piled up, many from a stretch of Gwynns Falls Parkway in the city with a 25 mph speed limit. "I have no idea," he said when asked to explain it. "I don't even know anything about half those tickets.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2011
Speaking from behind a display of handguns and mug shots of violent offenders, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reiterated on Monday a desire to pursue legislation to strengthen penalties for people caught with illegal guns. Police said surveillance operations, car stops and search warrants led to the arrest of several men over the weekend on gun charges. Among those arrested was 20-year-old Haymond Burton Jr., who in 2009 was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and handgun offenses, and was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, court records show.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2011
Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein announced Thursday the launch of a new "Major Investigations Unit" devoted to dealing with violent repeat offenders — a criminal class that was key to his campaign last year. "Research and data reveal that a relatively small number of violent, repeat offenders commit a disproportionately large amount of the violent crime," Bernstein said in a statement. "By strategically and aggressively pursuing, prosecuting and imprisoning these individuals, we will have a dramatic impact on the level of violence in the city, and as a result make Baltimore a safer place to live and work.
NEWS
August 1, 2010
The first question to be asked about the murder of Stephen Pitcairn, the promising young Johns Hopkins researcher who was robbed and stabbed to death last week as he walked home from Penn Station to Charles Village, is also the hardest to answer: How did John Alexander Wagner, the violent repeat offender whom police accuse of committing the crime, come to be allowed to roam the streets at all? Although homicide and violent crime in Baltimore City generally have been falling in recent years, incidents like the killing of Mr. Pitcairn are a frustrating reminder of the failure of the criminal justice system to prevent convicted violent felons like Mr. Wagner from continuing to commit crimes that shock the conscience of the community.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2010
First-time juvenile offenders in Annapolis will be offered an alternative to a juvenile record with the start of a new program offered by police. The Juvenile Offenders in Need of Supervision Program, or JOINS, will give first-time offenders under the age of 18, who admit to minor crimes and agree to enter into the 90-day program, a chance to expunge their record, if the victim agrees. "It's for those kids that you can work with and give the right attention to. They need to be given a second chance," said Det. Shelley White, director of the program.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF | June 7, 2000
Carroll's success with Reality USA, an anti-substance abuse program that offers first-time youthful offenders a chance to avoid prosecution, has made the county a promotional model in Maryland and elsewhere. The county, which launched its Reality program in 1998, continues to lead the state in the number of participants - those referred by judges and parents - and continues to have the lowest rate of repeat offenders, said Terry Ober, Reality's national coordinator. Carroll's program remains the premier model, mainly because of the commitment of its organizers, instructors and volunteers, 244 and growing, he said.
NEWS
By Athima Chansanchai and Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF | April 14, 2004
Carroll County school officials continue to tinker with their hotly debated alcohol and drug regulations - easing penalties for students who are merely present when banned substances are consumed but stiffening the punishment for repeat offenders. Superintendent Charles I. Ecker said yesterday that the regulations are being changed to differentiate two levels of violations, separating drug users and underage drinkers from nonparticipating partygoers. "I just don't think it's fair that someone that's not drinking gets the same penalty as those who are drinking or doing drugs," Ecker said.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey | annie.linskey@baltsun.com | January 28, 2010
There are several tip-offs that a driver might be drunk: swerving, traveling the wrong way on a street, pulling out of a bar late at night. And a Prince George's County lawmaker wants to add one more. He says the state should replace license plates of repeat drunken drivers with bright yellow tags that read "DUI." "Displaying the special license plates will give people some understanding of who they are sharing the roadways with," Marvin E. Holmes Jr., a Democrat, said at a hearing on his bill Thursday.
NEWS
September 27, 2009
Reducing Baltimore's homicide rate will take more than just getting illegal guns off the streets and arresting the most violent offenders. It will also require putting more resources into apprehending the illegal-gun dealers who provide the weapons that fuel the city's homicide epidemic. That's the conclusion to be drawn from Sun reporter Peter Hermann's perplexing report last week that the steady decline in nonfatal shootings in Baltimore over the last 12 years has not been matched by a comparable drop in gun fatalities.
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