Being faced with charges of a sex-related crime can be a devastating experience. Even the allegations of such criminal behavior can significantly damage a person's reputation, career and family. Because of the social stigma attached to sex crimes, a conviction can result in requests for extensive prison sentences.
A 21-year-old man's life has been permanently changed after he chose to plead guilty to a charge of burglary. When many people in Montgomery County think of crimes that deserve a sentence of 78 years in prison, they likely think of some of the most horrific and violent of crimes, not stealing $80. Sadly, this man will be spending a great deal of time in prison for only taking that much from an acquaintance.
At one point in our nation's history, legislators turned to studies that showed longer, harsher prison sentences would cause a drop in the crime rates. While prison sentences have, in some instances, reduced the amount of criminal activity, the PEW Center on the States says that they have only accounted for, at most, a one-third reduction. With the overall crime rate dropping, it appears that the need for longer prison sentences is ending.
Many people in Silver Spring know that someone can't be tried twice for the same thing. The principle of double jeopardy protects everyone in Maryland from multiple trials for the same actions, but double jeopardy does not prevent prosecutors from appealing a guilty verdict in order to get a harsher punishment.