Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks is pushing for state Senate Bill 177. This legislation would increase the maximum sentence for those convicted of second-degree murder. The bill is currently undergoing hearings in the Maryland Senate.

Alsobrooks believes passing the bill could help Prince George’s County by providing tougher sentences for individuals convicted in violent crimes. She, along with many other Maryland State’s Attorneys, said 30 years is not enough. If the bill passes, Maryland would be included with other states that increased the maximum sentences for second-degree murder convictions.

“Ms. Alsobrooks testified in support of this bill because in many of these cases, a 30-year sentence (with the possibility of being released in 15 years for good behavior) is too soon for criminals to be released” said John Erzen, communications director for the State’s Attorney’s Office, to the AFRO.

According to Alsobrooks, the bill would bring Maryland in line with approximately 80 percent of the 50 states in the country.

Another hearing was held March 4 for House Bill 1313. According to Department of Legislative Services, Maryland House Bill 1313 increases the maximum years for second-degree murder from 30 years to 40 years, eliminates mandatory minimum sentences, and reduces criminal penalties for specified offenses relating to the distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS).

In Prince George’s County most domestic violence related cases are convicted as second-degree murder cases. Alsobrooks, a strong advocate for the decreasing domestic violence, used prior local examples of this type of crime to justify the extension of mandatory sentencing.

Both bills are pending in the Maryland General Assembly.