Term: 4 Years Salary: $89,000
QUESTION: What is the most important problem facing the criminal justice system and how will you address it? (1 seat) Timothy D. Murnane (R) 3885 Greenmeadow Lane, Davidsonville Age: 37
Criminal trial lawyer, private practice, 1979-present; assistant public defender, Anne Arundel County felony trial staff, 1981-90; staff counsel, Maryland Department of Legislative Reference, 1980-81; Anne Arundel Community College adjunct law instructor, 1985-present; member, Maryland Bar, Anne Arundel County Bar, Maryland Criminal Defense Association; member, national, Maryland, Anne Arundel County boards of Realtors; member, Merrywood Manor, Davidsonville area and Greater Harwood Citizens Associations; JD, University of Baltimore School of Law, 1978; member, All Hallows parish; married; two children.
A. I believe that the war on drugs should be our number one priority. I would immediately establish the Anne Arundel County Narcotics Task Force to coordinate multi-jurisdictional law enforcement efforts with the state's attorney office. Law enforcement must have a regional approach. One component of this effort is to create a regional grand jury to serve as a collection point for intelligence on drug distribution rings. Concurrently, we should hold drug users strictly accountable for their crimes to forcibly eliminate the drug market. We cannot win the war on drugs with law enforcement alone. We must increase the use of the classroom to educate our children about the horrors of drug abuse. I offer to the people of Anne Arundel County myself as a candidate who would pledge to take a proactive approach to stop the increases in domestic and family violence, brutality and all of the other criminal consequences resulting from drug abuse. Frank R. Weathersbee (D) 1402 Regent St., Annapolis Age: 46 Incumbent
State's attorney for Anne Arundel County; career county prosecutor beginning as an assistant state's attorney in 1969; deputy state's attorney in 1977, and unanimously appointed state's attorney for Anne Arundel County in 1988 by the judges of the Circuit Court; member, board of directors, Maryland State's Attorneys Association and chairman of its legislative committee since 1982; member, Governor's Task Force on Drugged and Drunk Drivers and the state board of victim services since 1988; BS, University of Maryland, 1965; JD, University of Maryland Law School, 1969; president, Annapolis Fine Arts Foundation, 1983-1985, and member of its board of directors, 1981-1987.
A. Among the many important issues facing the criminal justice system are overcrowded prisons, the lack of sufficient drug and alcohol treatment facilities, victims' rights, juvenile crime and crowded criminal dockets. However, one problem cuts across all of the system's problems: drugs. Forty-two percent of our felony cases last year charged either drug distribution or felony possession, and I estimate that 85 percent of all cases involve drugs either because the defendants are charged with selling or possessing drugs, or because they stole money to buy drugs, or because the defendant was under the influence of drugs when committing a crime. As state's attorney I have increased our drug strike force to five full-time lawyers, established an asset-forfeiture unit to seize the profits of the drug dealers, and established a policy of not reducing charges of drug distribution and requiring that mandatory sentences for second offenders be enforced.