Candidates for the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Sentences: In what cases, if any, would you support legislation requiring judges to impose mandatory sentences? Do you feel Maryland should build a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders? Please explain.
Spending: In which areas of government should the state spend more money or less? Please be specific.
Legislation: Give three examples of legislation you intend to propose.
Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D), incumbent, 39, of 6502 Horseshoe Rd., Clinton, a Maryland state senator since 1975, is chairman of the Prince George's County Senate delegation. He was a member of the House of Delegates from 1971 to 1975 and served as counsel to the House from 1967 to 1970. He is active in numerous civic and fraternal groups.
Sentences: During my 12 years in Annapolis, I have supported numerous mandatory sentencing proposals, many of which have become law, including a five-year mandatory sentence (in addition to the felony sentence) for anyone who uses a handgun during the commission of a felony, and I sponsored the law that reinstated the death penalty in Maryland for specific crimes. I believe mandatory sentences are appropriate for aggravated crimes of violence, for second-time drunk drivers, for dealers of controlled dangerous substances and for persons who possess deadly weapons on Board of Education property. I feel Maryland should immediately begin construction of a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders. Today's juveniles need to know that the punishment for criminal activity will be both swift and severe. For that special segment of our juvenile criminal population who, because of a tendency toward violence, need to be isolated in order to protect both society and other inmates, we need a maximum security juvenile facility immediately
Spending: I can think of no area of government in which the state should be spending more money. Our economy is presently in the state of a recession and government should be setting an example for its citizenery by "tightening its belt" in every area possible. For necessary exceptions, such as the prison discussed above and cost-of-living increases for state employes, monies saved through cutbacks in nonessentials could be used as a source of funding. In Prince George's County, through the TRIM proposal, we have seen that there is a certain amount of "fat" built into every bureaucracy, and state government is certainly no exception.
Legislation: 1) In light of the recent revelations in The Washington Post concerning sexual abuse in the Prince George's County Detention Center, I will be pre-filing legislation providing for a mandatory, five-year sentence for any unlawful, nonconsentual criminal sexual act committed in a penal facility. The sentence will not be subject to suspension or modification and will be served only after the entire sentence for which the criminal defendant was convicted has been fully served. 2) I support legislation that would double the penalties for crimes of violence committed against persons 60 years of age or older. 3) I support legislation strengthening Maryland's farm preservation laws so that more Prince George's County farmers would be encouraged to participate in this program and thus save for future generations that rural heritage that so many have people been able to enjoy.