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Gov. Larry Hogan plans to hold a meeting this month with representatives of Baltimore judges, prosecutors and politicians to discuss why more violent offenders aren’t being held in jail longer.
The governor called it “outrageous” that 60 percent of gun offenders convicted in Baltimore have more than half their sentences suspended — a frequent complaint of the police department.
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“I’m going to ask the judges directly, ‘What does it take to get these repeat violent offenders off the streets?” Hogan said in an interview.
While in Baltimore Thursday, the governor met with federal law enforcement officials about the city’s crime problem. He said he discussed taking more prosecutions of violent offenders into federal court and cross-designating more city prosecutors to press federal charges.
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Hogan said his meeting with local officials is not about who is to blame for Baltimore’s record-high murder rate. He said he wanted Mayor Catherine Pugh, members of the City Council, prosecutors and judges to attend.
“Not to point fingers,” he said. “Together, what can we all do?”
Baltimore is facing its highest homicide rate on record this year. Violent crime is up 17 percent.
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The Baltimore Police Department says in the past year and a half, 60 percent of 605 convicted gun offenders had more than half their sentence suspended by a judge. More than 100 people were arrested at least twice on handgun charges during that time; seven people were arrested...
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