Today! -- tell the MD Assembly to dump a bad criminal justice bill

 

Progressive Maryland and many other progressive organizations are strongly opposed to SB122, a bill being heard in committee TODAY, March 27. SB122 gives prosecutors excessive tools to lock up defendants and increases prison time in a racially biased way, including the creation of mandatory minimum sentences focused on the kind of drug offenses that are disproportionately charged against minorities. Defendants under SB122 would have far fewer rights in their defense. There are no protections against police misconduct.

You can fight back against this unjust proposal. Sign our petition at  http://www.progressivemaryland.org/stop_passage_of_sb_122 and follow it by sharing on social media. On Twitter, use HashTag  #MDAgainstSB122.


 

Today -- March 27 -- beginning at 1:00 p.m. The House Judiciary Committee in Annapolis plans to markup Senate Bill 122, or what the legislature calls the "Comprehensive Crime Bill of 2018".

Progressive Maryland and many other progressive organizations are strongly opposed to SB122, which gives prosecutors excessive tools to lock up defendants and increases prison time in a racially biased way, including the creation of mandatory minimum sentences focused on the kind of drug offenses that are disproportionately charged against minorities. Defendants under SB122 would have far fewer rights in their defense. There are no protections against police misconduct.

You can fight back against this unjust proposal. Sign our petition at  http://www.progressivemaryland.org/stop_passage_of_sb_122 and follow it by sharing on social media. On Twitter, use HashTag  #MDAgainstSB122.

Here are details on SB122.

Senate Bill 122 would create grossly unfair advantages for state prosecutions.  For example, Senate Bill 122 would give state's police_violence.pngattorneys a pretrial right to appeal a court order throwing out illegally obtained evidence.  In contrast, Senate Bill 122 provides no pretrial appellate right for defendants wrongfully denied a motion to throw out illegally obtained evidence.  Moreover, these pretrial appeals would be very expensive, such that poor defendants would be unable to afford an effective opposition to the government's pretrial appeal.  As for the government, its pretrial appeals would be fully funded by the state.

In addition, Senate Bill 122 would jack up Maryland prison time in a racially bigoted way, such that offenses punishable today with up to three years in prison would be punishable with ten to fifteen years in prison under the measure.  The legislation would similarly establish mandatory minimum sentences, such as five to twenty years in prison for first offenses and ten to forty years in prison for second offenses. Senate Bill 122 also would add a number of arbitrary standards for jacked up sentences for illegal drugs, and, after creating these arbitrary standards, Senate Bill 122 proposes sentences of from five years to twenty years in legal_scales.pngprison for a first drug offense and from ten years to forty years in prison for a second drug offense.  Yet, the bulk of the drug prosecutions that would be pursued under Senate Bill 122 would be directed against poor black and Latino men living in such areas as Baltimore and Prince George's County, not against pharmacists, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies that peddle fentanyl and other opiates to an addicted public.

Progressive Maryland will stand today and oppose Senate Bill 122, a very poorly designed measure. It offers NO PROTECTION  against police brutality, offers no protection against the increasing number of "hate crimes" and mass shootings that lawfully armed individuals, including white nationalists, perpetrate in American society. It will NOT MOVE Maryland forward; instead, Senate Bill 122 offers to incarcerate a generation of black or Latino men and women and to do so during the 2018 election year so as to make the image of incarcerated black and Latino men political fodder during Governor Hogan's reelection campaign. Progressive Maryland will not stand behind any member who supports Senate Bill 122.

Progressive Maryland will be watching the vote on the Bill closely and will consider pulling endorsements from members who support this bill.

With these thoughts in mind, we ask that you join our fight against racially bigoted injustice, our fight aimed at blocking passage of Senate Bill 122.  To stop this legislation, we need to make our voices heard by telephone, by email and, by social media so as to persuade the members of the House Judiciary Committee,  chaired by Delegate Joseph Vallario of Prince George's County, to VOTE DOWN Senate Bill 122.

We ask you to sign our petition at  http://www.progressivemaryland.org/stop_passage_of_sb_122 and follow it by sharing on Twitter why you believe in blocking Senate Bill 122, use HashTag  #MDAgainstSB122

Keep this in mind: We have no time for apathy in the face of genocide. Join us in the fight against the racially bigoted injustice that in Maryland goes by the name Senate Bill 122.