Federal and state law enforcers credit “unprecedented” cooperation in prosecuting and monitoring the “baddest of the bad” – repeat gun criminals – for this year's sharp reduction in homicides and shootings in Baltimore, reports the Daily Record. As part of the statewide Exile program, federal prosecutors are using the heft of their office and tougher federal sentences to take referrals from state prosecutors, convince state defendants to plead, and to revive stalled or failed state prosecutions. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said his office has charged 12 percent more violent offenders this year than in 2007.
Launched in 2006, the Exile program aims to send chronic criminals away on long out-of-state prison sentences. Composed of agencies ranging from the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Exile's public relations campaign has included a poster on Baltimore's Supermax prison inviting felons to either ditch their firearms or pick a room. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said the 30 percent drop in the city murder rate, while tough to maintain, is not a “fluke” or the result of bad weather or good trauma care.