Here’s a story about how the criminal-justice system really works, at least in Maryland, courtesy of Baltimore Sun crime blogger Peter Hermann. In this case, the victims, the cops, the prosecutors, the judge, and the jailers conspired to get a case right. They did what they were supposed to do, and the bad guy went to prison. The problem was that the Maryland Parole Commission told the 66-year-old mugging victim’s son-in-law about a parole hearing scheduled for July, just a few months after Dajuan Daward had been sentenced to three years in prison.
The son-in-law, Michael Brand, had barely finished reading his victim impact statement in court when he was told to dust it off and send it in to the parole board. “We thought we had heard the last of this for a while,” Brand said. “Needless to say, my wife and I could barely believe our eyes.  What a slap in the face to my family. I had heard about Baltimore’s infamous revolving-door justice system before, and now my family and I are really getting a bitter taste of it.” Brand’s mother-in-law, visiting from Louisiana, was mugged as she awaited surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Daward agreed to a plea deal for a 10-year prison term, with all but three years suspended, meaning that he is eligible for parole in February 2010.