We’ve seen this before: An elected official responsible for public safety goes to Annapolis to implore state legislators to stiffen the penalties for people who commit crimes with guns. Numerous police chiefs and prosecutors have made the trip, and this week’s lead witness was Ivan Bates, the new Baltimore State’s Attorney. He wants judges to have the power to sentence to five years in prison anyone 21 or older caught with an illegal gun. The present maximum is three years, and Bates, a criminal defense attorney before taking office, knows well that most defendants consider a three-year penalty a joke.
Dan Rodricks: Want a safer society? Turn the prisons inside out and start over.
February 17, 2023