Criminal Justice

  • Decriminalize Marijuana and other petty crime
  • Banning the Box
  • Restorative, mental health
  • Facilities for Women Pre-Release – (SB 684 2020)


DC ballot initiative 81 decriminalizing marijuana

Baltimore Co. has banned chokeholds.

According to The Marshall Project and data obtained through a database compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado, Iowa, New York and now Connecticut are the only states that have successfully passed legislation aimed at attacking systemic police racism through improved police oversight and accountability.

Colorado’s bill requires all officers to wear body cameras by 2023, bans chokeholds and carotid holds, holds officers legally accountable for failing to intervene against other officers using excessive force, and removes the qualified immunity defense – allowing civil rights claims against officers to be brought to court. The bill also adds protections to protesters and gives the state attorney general more power in prosecuting poor departments and officers.

Bills passed in New York and Iowa addressed similar issues by banning chokeholds and overseeing officer misconduct more thoroughly. More power is given to the state attorney general to investigate wrongful killings by officers and to prevent officers from being rehired who had been convicted of a felony, fired for misconduct or quit to avoid a firing for misconduct. Both New York and Iowa, however, failed to go as far as Colorado in ending qualified immunity for police officers.

Annapolis 2021

However, we see that the entire interim through crossover (March22) the policing reforms, resulting in 9 bills, have to be reconciled.  Some weakened, some strong if left unamended.  Maryland MattersMaryland Lawmakers Want to Reform Policing. We Break Down the Bills That Would Do It – Maryland Matters has done a great job of a Venn diagram of the two chambers.  The House and Senate have passed different versions of a police reform package. The Senate bill [SB178 – strong MPIA reform for police misconduct records] would allow greater transparency over police misconduct investigations and the House [HB670 – strong use-of-force limitations with a necessary-as-a-last-resort standard; weak LEOBR repeal-and-replace; weak MPIA reform for police misconduct records.] elevated the use of force standard to authorize force only when it is necessary. However, neither [HB670 and SB627] establishes a streamlined disciplinary system that focuses on the substantive question of guilt or innocence, without unnecessary procedural barriers that prevent or delay discipline. Both chambers [HB670 and SB627] have also failed to enable the possibility of real external community oversight, which is different from the elements of community participation that they did include. SB 626-Use of Force is declared unconstitutional by the ACLU.  

Addressing Mayor Scott, Commissioner Harrison and States Atty. Mosby on Crime

In Scott’s State of the City, he touts a plan with restorative initiatives yet continues, against neighboring county executive, FUND THE POLICE. I recently attended the Northeast Neighbor association meeting as listening to the Deputy SA was like Mosby was there speaking. He couldn’t even answer a question about recidivism. To date Mosby hasn’t file for re-election. And Baltimore will gain control of its Police Department. The city has had over 300 homicides, black-on-black, with less than 20% closing rates. I’m glad that funding has allowed the department the technological resources, required nationwide by the FBI and hoping to better target and closed these open cases.

The 2022 Session in Annapolis banned ghost guns and invested in mental health services.

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