Martin O`Malley on Crime
O'MALLEY: I believe what she said was that there's a lot of policies that have led to this unrest.
Q: When she was asked which policies, she named zero tolerance.
O'MALLEY: Arrests had actually fallen to a 38-year low in the year prior to the tragic death of Freddie Gray [whom the Baltimore police arrested for carrying a switchblade; Gray was killed violent, addicted, and abandoned city in America. And we put our city on a path to reduce violent crime. We've saved over 1,000 lives in Baltimore in the last 15 years of people working together. And the vast majority of them were young & poor & black.
O`MALLEY: It's interesting, isn't it? For all of the progress that we make, there's always so much more that needs to be done. When I was elected in 1999, our city had become the most violent, addicted, and abandoned city in the US. But we went on in the next ten years to achieve the biggest crime reduction of any American city. And now, Baltimore's population is growing again with greater numbers of young people moving back here. Sadly it's also true that we still have huge pockets of poverty in our city; and the anger that erupted in our city did so in some of the poorest, hardest hit neighborhoods. But still, I would not have been elected with 91% of the vote first time or reelected four years later with 88% of the vote if we were not making substantial progress.
But there is something to be learned from that night, and there is something to be offered to our country from those flames. For what took place here was not only about race... not only about policing in America.
It's about everything it is supposed to mean to be an American. The scourge of hopelessness that happened to ignite here that evening, transcends race or geography.
The hard truth of our shared reality is this: Unemployment in many American cities and in many small towns across the United States is higher now than it was eight years ago. Conditions of extreme and growing poverty, create conditions for extreme violence.
Our nation was not founded on fear, or on revenge, or on retribution. Freedom, justice, equal rights before the law, and a fierce belief in the dignity of every human being--these are the foundational notions of what it means to be American. Our values are our treasures, and the death penalty is incompatible with them.
Nevertheless, advocates of the death penalty will argue that the death penalty is firmly rooted in our legal tradition, extending to its roots in England. But just as our notions on equality and civil liberties have rightfully changed since the early days of the republic, it is time to reconsider the place of the death penalty in our criminal justice system--and whether we should, as a nation, replace the death penalty with life without parole.
We enacted common sense measures to reduce gun violence. We repealed the death penalty and replaced it with life without the possibility of parole. And there are now fewer people incarcerated in Maryland's prisons today than at any time since 1994.
"I am outraged by the criminal wrongdoing at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Since taking office, the Administration is taking action to purge corrupt correctional officers. The average annual number of correctional officers terminated during the O'Malley Administration is nearly 50% higher than under the previous administration.
In 2011, officials formed the Maryland Joint Prison Task Force, focused on combating gangs and rooting out corruption in Maryland correctional institutions. In 2012, DPSCS captured 77% more cell phones than it did in 2007 through the use of K9s and other strategies, and invested in a cellular forensics lab to extract intelligence from contraband phones. Since 2007, serious assaults have been driven down 65%. Since 2009, DPSCS has employed a full-time gang intelligence analyst to track gang activity.
We also have a moral responsibility to stop doing the things that are wasteful, and that are expensive, and that do not work. Therefore, we are signing into law today a repeal on the death penalty in Maryland.
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