Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Play

The nation is jolted by another mass shooting, this time at a Texas elementary school; a mixture of hope and stark realities on the 2nd anniversary of Floyd Murder; a new map shows more Americans live within oil & gas "Threat Radius."

Play

At least 19 children and two adults killed at Texas elementary school, President Biden delivers remarks on shooting from White House, lawmakers plead on gun control, NRA to hold conference in Houston this week, Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp favored to win Georgia primary.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Maryland Ends Governor’s Ability to Halt Parole

Play

Thursday, December 9, 2021   

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Maryland lawmakers voted this week to repeal the governor's ability to reject parole decisions for people serving life sentences, taking itself off a list of just three states where governors have that power.

Monica Cooper, executive director of the Maryland Justice Project, said for years, state delegates have put forward legislation to end the practice, which disproportionately impacted African Americans.

She thinks it is inhumane to watch elderly incarcerated folks who are not a danger to their communities deteriorate in prison. She pointed out even during the height of the COVID pandemic, Maryland prison officials were releasing older inmates who have not since re-offended.

"It's a win for the African American community," Cooper asserted. "And it's a win for families, children, children who are now 40 years old who haven't seen their parent since they were three. It's a win for the community all around."

The House voted 92 to 46 late Tuesday to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of Senate Bill 202 after the Senate approved it the day before. Opponents of the bill say it allows dangerous people back onto the streets and sends a wrong message to communities looking for help with violent crime.

But Cooper maintained everyone should be given a second chance, especially incarcerated people who are falsely imprisoned or committed crimes as teenagers and have reformed after years in prison.

Her group has been working for the veto override with advocates including Lea Green of Maryland CURE, whose son is serving a life term, and Walter Lomax, a Marylander who was finally exonerated after spending 39 years in prison for fatal robberies he did not commit.

They argued parole committees, who have worked with incarcerated people, are better to judge release than a governor reading a profile.

"Parole and probation make decisions based on people's institutional records, based on the amount of programs that you've done," Cooper explained. "These are actual people who over years upon years upon years know this individual."

Older offenders are much less likely than younger offenders to re-offend following release, according to a study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Over an eight-year follow-up period, about 13% of offenders age 65 or older at the time of release were re-arrested compared with about 67% of offenders younger than age 21.

Disclosure: Maryland Justice Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
A bill to phase out plastic packaging has passed several committees and is expected to go to the full California State Assembly for a vote by Friday. (Oceana)

Environment

The California State Assembly is expected to vote this week on a bill that would phase out some of the plastics used in online shipping because they …


Health and Wellness

The National Institutes of Health has begun a nationwide research project to better understand how to prevent and treat what's become known as "long" …

Health and Wellness

As Kentucky students head into the unofficial start of summer this weekend, children's advocates are urging families to prioritize physical activity…


George Floyd's murder sparked global protests over systemic racism, but advocates say there's no silver lining to end decades of racial disparities in states such as Minnesota. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

President Joe Biden is using today's second anniversary of George Floyd's murder to sign executive orders on police reform. From criminal justice to …

Health and Wellness

From inflation to climate change, Wisconsin farmers face numerous sources of stress that can't help but affect their health. And one program is …

Nurse aides in New York are required to complete at least 75 hours of formal training. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the pandemic began, the federal government waived certain certification requirements for nurse aides to help with health-care worker shortages…

Health and Wellness

May marks both Mental Health Awareness Month and Military Appreciation Month. In Pennsylvania, officials want to ensure that veterans know mental-…

Environment

By Bryce Oates for The Daily Yonder. Broadcast version by Chance Dorland for North Carolina News Service, reporting for The Daily Yonder-Public News …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021