Gang Law Gets Use in Pr. George's Death; Prosecutors, Slow to Invoke 2007 Md. Statute, Urge That It Be Strengthened.
Post, 22 Jan 2009 (Castaneda ).
When a Prince George's County teenager pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder and participating in a gang crime that led to a death, it marked the first time prosecutors in the county, and perhaps the state, had used an anti-gang statute enacted in 2007.
Under the terms of a plea deal, Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr. sentenced Rony Izaguirre-Henriquez, 18, to 30 years in prison, the maximum for second-degree murder. For the gang offense, Martin gave Izaguirre-Henriquez 20 years, which, under the plea agreement, will be served concurrently.
* * *
The law allows judges to impose a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The law does not require that sentences for violations of the anti-gang statute be imposed consecutively, which some state prosecutors say would have made the law stronger.
At least three state's attorney's offices in the Washington suburbs have yet to prosecute anyone under the anti-gang statute.
* * *
Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said he, too, wished the law required consecutive sentences for crimes such as murder or attempted murder -- an issue he said he hopes state lawmakers will address during the current session.
Comment: What I don't understand. If Glenn Ivey thinks the gang sentences should run consecutively with the sentences for other crimes, why did he let his staff make a deal for killer Izaguirre-Henriquez to serve his sentences concurrently?
"The region is facing major problems with violent street gangs," Ivey said. "The anti-gang legislation that was enacted [in 2007] provides for some additional tools for prosecutors to combat these gangs. We look forward to working with legislative leaders to improve the statute."
* * *
- Gory Prince George's: Killer gang member gets 30 years , 14 Jan 2009
- Maryland Gang Act called ‘useless,’ changes proposed , 10 Jan 2008