Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Maryland: The Mizeur Plan

Today's Baltimore Sun reports on the "transformational" approach to crime that is being espoused by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heather R. Mizeur. According to the Sun, Mizeur would "eliminate mandatory minimum sentences and use the governor's clemency and pardon powers to cut the prison population." These steps would be part of a "holistic approach" to reducing crime that would include "social and educational programs as well as law enforcement strategies." Mizeur condemns what she calls "Maryland's strategy of mass incarceration."

Mizeur notes that mandatory minimums have "taken important discretion away from judges and forced unfair sentences on nonviolent offenders," But the Sun reports that the plan "would likely face political push-back, especially from prosecutors." Even fellow Democrat, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger, says there are not too many people behind bars and that mandatory minimum sentences are important for "public safety." See fulls story here.

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