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NEWS
July 4, 2013
I like Elmo as much as anyone else, but Kevin Clash was not "cleared of sexual abuse claims" as some in the media have stated ("3 sex-abuse suits against Clash, Elmo's voice, tossed," July 2). He was not exonerated or proven not guilty. The plaintiffs did not recant. The cases were dismissed in New York because the statute of limitations for civil damages in cases of sexual abuse of a minor must be brought within five years of the sexual offense. In New York, if someone doesn't heal enough within five years to be ready to identify their experience as abuse, understand its impact, realize they are not at fault, dissolve the shame they carry, feel their anger, find an attorney, and be prepared to confront their perpetrator and his or her attorney in public, they are denied their day in court.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser | March 10, 2014
Over solid Republican objections, the Senate voted Monday night to remove the one-year statute of limitation on an existing law against using a handgun in a crime of violence or other felony. Senators voted 34-12 to approve and send to the House legislation sponsored by Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat, that would make the statute of limitations for the offense identical to that of the underlying crime. Frosh said the measure has the strong the strong support of the Maryland State's Attorney's Association.
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NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | September 16, 2009
Leaders in the House of Delegates pledged Tuesday to re-examine Maryland's anti-gang statute to address concerns of prosecutors who complained at a legislative briefing that the current law is nearly unusable. Although the Gang Prosecution Act took effect two years ago, prosecutors have employed it only a handful of times, gaining one conviction. The law allows judges to add prison time if a person convicted of certain crimes was part of a gang at the time. Prosecutors and police want state lawmakers to define "gang," expand the base of crimes that trigger the anti-gang statute and require judges to impose the added prison time consecutively to other sentences.
NEWS
July 4, 2013
I like Elmo as much as anyone else, but Kevin Clash was not "cleared of sexual abuse claims" as some in the media have stated ("3 sex-abuse suits against Clash, Elmo's voice, tossed," July 2). He was not exonerated or proven not guilty. The plaintiffs did not recant. The cases were dismissed in New York because the statute of limitations for civil damages in cases of sexual abuse of a minor must be brought within five years of the sexual offense. In New York, if someone doesn't heal enough within five years to be ready to identify their experience as abuse, understand its impact, realize they are not at fault, dissolve the shame they carry, feel their anger, find an attorney, and be prepared to confront their perpetrator and his or her attorney in public, they are denied their day in court.
NEWS
By Colleen Mastony and Colleen Mastony,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | May 23, 2004
CHICAGO - The release last week of an Oregon lawyer held two weeks by federal authorities without being charged with a crime has raised new questions about the controversial statute used to detain him. The Justice Department has portrayed the material witness statute as a powerful tool in the war against terrorism, giving authorities the right to jail suspects who they say might otherwise flee the country and allowing investigators valuable time to...
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | February 24, 2004
Attorneys for Edward T. Norris say public corruption charges against the former Baltimore police commissioner should be dismissed because the statute they are based on is too broad, arguing in recent court filings the same issue that the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up next week in a case from Minnesota. Norris is accused of misappropriating more than $20,000 from an off-the-books expense account to pay for lavish meals and gifts and to finance extramarital affairs while he headed the city Police Department.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | September 13, 2009
As soon as Maryland's Gang Prosecution Act went into effect in 2007, prosecutors in Harford County tested it, filing charges against a group that had stabbed and beaten a man. But when prosecutors couldn't show how the attack had furthered a criminal conspiracy, as required under the new law, the judge balked. They had to drop the gang charges and move forward with simple assault. "It's a very unworkable statute. ... Most prosecutors haven't really bothered to do anything with it," said Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly, who contends that the law is watered-down and useless.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | August 27, 2002
Authorities investigating a Maryland anti-crime agency overseen by Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend are evaluating whether criminal charges could be brought under a broadly drawn law designed to protect the vast sums of money distributed each year through federal programs, sources and legal experts said. The statute has been widely successful in public corruption cases in other states. It makes it illegal for an agent or employee of a local agency that receives U.S. dollars to use the money for any purpose other than for what it was intended.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2010
Legal rulings coming soon from the U.S. Supreme Court could cut to the heart of a federal probe into a powerful Maryland state senator and affect the years-old convictions of top state lobbyists. If the court overturns a federal mail fraud statute often used in public corruption cases, investigations under way in Maryland and across the country could be tossed, and previous convictions could be overturned. Many legal observers who watch the court closely believe that, at the very least, new limits on how the law may be used are forthcoming.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | March 10, 2014
Over solid Republican objections, the Senate voted Monday night to remove the one-year statute of limitation on an existing law against using a handgun in a crime of violence or other felony. Senators voted 34-12 to approve and send to the House legislation sponsored by Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat, that would make the statute of limitations for the offense identical to that of the underlying crime. Frosh said the measure has the strong the strong support of the Maryland State's Attorney's Association.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2013
An Anne Arundel County woman has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against more than 180 defendants who she says circulated or watched child pornography showing her two young children being molested by their father and another person. In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, the woman is unnamed to shield the identity of the youngsters, who were ages 4 and 6 at the time they were sexually assaulted, the suit says. The suit claims the father and another person pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with production of child pornography and were sentenced to 45 and 36 years in prison.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | October 16, 2011
The man accused of fatally shooting a Towson gas station owner in a murder-for-hire scheme is due in court this week - the first trial under Maryland's revamped death penalty law, legal experts say. And the trial of Walter P. Bishop Jr., scheduled to begin Tuesday with jury selection in Harford County Circuit Court, could eventually test Maryland's definition of a capital case, as his lawyers argue that police improperly obtained a crucial piece...
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley is joining Baltimore officials in calling for tougher penalties for gun crimes and in seeking to criminalize child neglect. In his legislative agenda released Monday, O'Malley said he is also pursuing pension reform, environmental protection and economic development during the 2011 General Assembly session. The former Baltimore mayor, a Democrat, wants to reduce the number of credits a person convicted of a gun crime can receive for good behavior in prison.
NEWS
By Pat McDonough | July 18, 2010
The myths, misinformation and misleading rhetoric directed at Arizona's new immigration law are overwhelming. The Arizona law is nothing more than a duplication of portions of the existing federal Immigration Act, which has been in power for many years. However, that power has not been executed by numerous presidents, both Democrat and Republican. As a result, the states have had to enact their own legislation in order to protect citizens from the burdens created by illegal aliens. The federal Immigration Act has been challenged numerous times and found to be constitutionally sound.
NEWS
June 1, 2010
Anthony Graber is facing felony charges today. His crime? Recording a traffic stop with a video camera — supposedly prohibited in Maryland under an archaic "anti-wiretapping" statute that is well past due for a revisit by the General Assembly. Mr. Graber was riding his motorcycle on I-95 in Maryland, speeding and popping wheelies and recording the experience with a helmet cam. An unmarked car cut him off as he slowed for traffic, and a man in a sweatshirt and jeans jumped out with a gun in his hand.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2010
Legal rulings coming soon from the U.S. Supreme Court could cut to the heart of a federal probe into a powerful Maryland state senator and affect the years-old convictions of top state lobbyists. If the court overturns a federal mail fraud statute often used in public corruption cases, investigations under way in Maryland and across the country could be tossed, and previous convictions could be overturned. Many legal observers who watch the court closely believe that, at the very least, new limits on how the law may be used are forthcoming.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | April 9, 2003
A former Baltimore County man was convicted yesterday on charges that he traveled to Carroll County last year intending to have sex with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl he had met on the Internet. Instead of meeting young "lisalee," Robert Michael Rysak, 42, was met at a Finksburg fast-food restaurant by a state trooper from Maryland Internet task force. He was charged with using a computer for child pornography and with attempted second-degree sexual assault. In January, Rysak's lawyer challenged the two charges, arguing that the computer statute did not cover conversations and that a sexual assault was impossible without a victim.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2010
Baltimore's top cop has made no secret he wants to rid the city's mean streets of "bad guys with guns." He's railed against "morons" who pack heat, complained that the courts catapult criminals from handcuffs to freedom and grumbled about the failures of ordinary citizens to take responsibility for the safety of their city. Now, lawmakers in Annapolis — despite lobbying by the city's chief prosecutor, police commissioner and mayor — managed, with just 15 minutes to spare on the last day of the legislative session, to shelve a bill to toughen Maryland's gun laws.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | March 3, 2010
Prosecutors and police officers from across the state pleaded with legislators Tuesday for tougher anti-gang laws, saying they want to define who is a "gang member" and broaden the number of crimes that trigger longer prison sentences. Law enforcement groups told the House Judiciary Committtee that the Maryland Gang Prevention Act, enacted two years ago to stiffen penalties for gang members, isn't working because it fails to define "gang member," doesn't include enough gang-related crimes and carries no mandatory prison time.
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