|Thursday, February 10, 2011 – Robert Lang|
|In Annapolis, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is holding a hearing today on legislation to increase the sentences for people convicted of gun crimes.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is backing the legislation. She testified in favor of those bills.
One bill, would create a minimum sentence of 18 months for all defendants arrested with an illegal, loaded firearm.
The other bill would strengthen sentencing options for felons in possession of guns by creating a tougher sentencing range of 5 years minimum to 15 years maximum, giving judges more sentencing options when faced with a repeat gun offender. Current law imposes a five year sentence.
Baltimore City Police Officer Todd Strohman testified in favor of the bill.
On the morning of November 27, he was shot and wounded by a man he had stopped on Calvert Street.
Strohman’s voice cracked with emotion as he described the moment when his family saw him at Shock Trauma after he was shot. Strohman said his father cried for the first time when he saw the wounded officer.
Strohman told lawmakers that the man charged with his shooting was a repeat offender and should not have been out on the streets.
He told members of the committee that tougher sentences for gun offenders would keep repeat offenders behind bars.
Strohman said that he returned to light duty this week.