Please contact members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committee Immediately!
We must oppose this legislation and protect our fallen heroes!
The Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police consisting of approximately 3,200 members and their families vehemently oppose HB385 and SB395 – Felony Murder- Limitation and Review of Convictions for Children and SB494 and HB409 Juveniles Convicted as Adults- Sentencing-Limitations and Reduction. These bills create yet another post-conviction right that further drags victims to court and prevents any finality to a criminal case.
On 5/21/18, four juveniles went on a burglary spree in Baltimore County, utilizing a stolen vehicle from a burglary on a previous day. During one of the burglaries, one of the juveniles killed Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio with the stolen vehicle. That driver, Dawnta Harris (16 years old), was arrested while trying to flee the neighborhood. He had an extensive criminal record and is a repeat offender. The other three juveniles were able to flee the area on foot after stealing a handgun during that burglary, which resulted in several nearby schools being placed on a lock down status for several hours. Harris murdered Officer Caprio to protect his friends who were burglarizing a residence. Officer Caprio paid the ultimate sacrifice for doing her job.
Dawnta Harris’ mother had previously plead for assistance from the state juvenile system, stating that she could not control her son and that he was likely to seriously injure or kill someone. Unfortunately, she was correct. This murder doesn’t just effect Officer Caprio’s husband, her parents and extended biological family but her extended family she gained by the virtue of being a Police Officer, including the Baltimore County Police Department and the entire police community from around the State of Maryland.
Unfortunately, many members of the Maryland General Assembly do not want to face the fact that some “children” commit such violent actions, they cannot be excused for any reason including their age. Sadly, our members witness this all too often. Early intervention is when resources are needed for juvenile offenders. Not after thee commission of such heinous acts. Victim’s families and police Officers from around the State must endure the burden of going through pre-trial hearings, the trial, sentencing if convicted and all post trial hearings. Changes to this law would “add salt to the wound” of every victim of a crime fitting this criterion but even more to the brave men and women who leave home for a job, knowing they may never return home because they too may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
On 5/14/08 Baltimore County Police arrested Lewin Powell (16 years old) for beating his mother to Death. Upon Powell’s father returning home, he assaulted his father with a baseball bat. The horrific thought of Powell killing his mother and then waiting for his father to return home to kill him is unfathomable.
Again, with the numerous rights afforded to criminal defendant’s post-conviction, this legislation continues the legal process for the defendant, preventing finality for the family. In this case the defendant’s father, lost his wife, was a victim himself, and lost his son who carried an unthinkable murder/attempted murder.
Our members urge you to vote NO to SB395 and HB385 and SB494 and HB409 as Defendants have so many rights now, they do not need or deserve one more.
Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4