On September 13, 2023, State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes, together with the State’s Attorneys from Montgomery County and Howard County and the Deputy State’s Attorneys from Baltimore City and Charles County, briefed the Judiciary Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates on the concerning increase in juvenile crime.
“Salisbury is in the middle of a gang war,” said State’s Attorney Dykes. “You have charged law enforcement with keeping the peace and protecting the community – all while their hands are tied behind their backs.”
State’s Attorney Dykes’ comments focused on the effects of the Child Interrogation Protection Act, enacted last year. This law has practically eliminated the ability of law enforcement to interview juvenile suspects – with devastating effects on the ability of law enforcement to investigate crime.
“It is our children who are more likely to be killed by juveniles wielding guns,” said State’s Attorney Dykes, pointing to an incident in April that left one child dead and another charged with his murder. State’s Attorney Dykes advised the Judiciary Committee that, since that incident, “Salisbury has had 13 related shootings with numerous other victims.”
This violence culminated in Salisbury’s first mass shooting in the early morning of July 5 which left a 15-year-old boy dead and seven others wounded, including two children.
This briefing follows Governor Moore’s recent comments stressing the need to address juvenile crime and hold adult repeat offenders accountable. State’s Attorney Dykes has been working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to draft legislation to address these challenges – increasing the ability of the juvenile court to supervise and provide services to juveniles, revising the interrogation law to give law enforcement more investigative tools, and enhancing penalties for repeat offenders that commit crimes using firearms.
Note: Wicomico County States Attorney Jamie Dykes testimony is at 3:59:40 – 4:02:30