Maryland Democrats' bill would prevent anyone under 25 from being charged with felony murder

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A proposed Democrat bill in Maryland is seeking prevent those under the age of 25 from being charged with felony first-degree murder in certain circumstances.

House Bill 1180, or the Youth Accountability and Safety Act, was introduced to the House of Delegates in February by Democratic Delegate Charlotte Cruchfield, and is currently being considered by the chamber, according to Fox Baltimore.

“The bill would prohibit an individual under the age of 25 from being convicted of first-degree murder committed in the perpetration of or an attempt to perpetrate various felonies including carjacking, arson, burglary, rape, and various sex offenses,” a Racial Equity Impact Note analysis of the bill states.

Noting that the current sentencing for first-degree murder, including felony murder, is life in prison, the bill analysis states that “the bill would reduce the overall sentence length for individuals who committed felony murder prior to turning age 25 that would have been otherwise sentenced to life imprisonment under existing law.”

“The bill’s provisions prohibiting individuals under the age of 25 from being convicted of first-degree murder in specified circumstances would allow these individuals to be released from incarceration after serving no more than 40 years in prison,” the analysis concludes. “This could allow an individual who may have committed a murder while committing another crime as a juvenile or young adult to have an opportunity to be released at a more mature age and possibly rehabilitate.”

Opponents of the bill say that if it passes, it could lead to a spike in Crime as well as gangs using these young adults to do their work.

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