TODAY, the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by Public Defender and OSI-Baltimore Leadership Council member, Todd Oppenheim. In “Baltimore’s Mandatory minimum madness,” Oppenheim calls the newly-proposed mandatory minimum sentencing for illegal handgun possession a “shortsighted attempt to curb violence through incarceration.” Mandatory minimum sentences do not increase public safety and restrict judges ability to rule based on circumstances, Oppenheim says, echoing OSI’s statement, released today. Additionally, these tough-on-crime approaches disproportionately affect poor and minority populations.
In June, Oppenheim held a bail info session, hosted by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. OSI-Baltimore displayed photos from its #Unconvicted photo series, which tells the stories of people spending extended periods in jail because they were unable to pay cash bail.