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Crime bill being discussed in House before last day of session

Posted at 5:39 PM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 17:39:03-04

The end of the session can get contentious between both republicans and democrats but, both sides can agree on one thing, the crime problem in Maryland and especially Baltimore.

The comprehensive crime bill has passed the Senate and now is under review by the House of Delegates.

The bill addressed community programs to stop youth becoming involved with crime in the first place, expands the use of wiretaps and mandatory sentencing for some violent crimes.

"This bill is about repeat violent offenders no matter who they are. Somebody who hurts somebody multiple times and they need to be held accountable," said Zirkin.

Some members of the black caucus and other minority groups feel this bill impacts minorities more than most because of the increased sentencing for some violent crimes.

"I'm not worried about any of the noise from the outside. We need to focus on the victims and their families and there are a substantial number of them," said Zirkin.

"And we will continue to work on, hopefully, we will resolve all the problems sometime today, "said Vallerio.

Delegate Joe Vallerio is the chairman of the House judiciary committee that is discussing the bill now. Chairman Valleriao says the extended mandatory sentencing time for some crimes may be too excessive. 

"Most of the people in the house are opposed to the mandatory penalties," said Vallerio.

"I think this crime issue we are finding broad consensus across different groups of people but, still trying to find a way that everybody gets a little bit of what they want," said Szeliga.

"And to make sure repeat violent offenders are held accountable for their actions," said Zirkin.