According to Maryland law, certain offenses are considered violent crimes because of the extensive damages caused by those offenses. A few examples of violent crimes are aggravated assault, murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping sex and child abuse and arson in the first degree. Considering the gravity of these crimes, the state imposes mandatory sentences that individuals convicted of violent crimes must serve before parole eligibility.
According to Maryland law, mandatory sentences for violent crimes depend on the number of convictions, meaning that the mandatory sentence for a subsequent conviction must be greater than the previous conviction. For example, if a person is convicted of a violent crime for the second time, that person must serve a minimum jail sentence of 10 years, or what the law for that particular violent crime recommends. If a law recommends more than 10 years in prison, the court may not reduce it.
If an individual faces criminal conviction of a violent crime for a third time, Maryland law requires that the individual serve a minimum prison sentence of 25 years or the minimum sentence that the law pertaining to the particular type of offense recommends. Therefore, if a law recommends a minimum sentence of more than 25 years for a particular violent crime, the court may not reduce that sentence. A person convicted under this subsection of the law is not eligible for parole, except in a few cases.
If convicted a fourth time, life without the possibility of parole is the sentence. However, in this case, other laws and their recommended sentences are subjugated by state sentencing guidelines. Conviction of this type allows a request for parole but only if the convict is older than 65 or has served at least 15 years of the total sentence.
Source: Maryland.gov, "Criminal Law §14-101," Accessed on Mar. 5, 2015