Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU (88.5 FM - American University Radio, Washington, D.C.) had an excellent show this past Thursday featuring the continued discussion on Maryland H.B. 700. Delegate Sue Hecht, who submitted the bill, and Delegate Luiz Simmons, who attacked Amy Castillo during the hearing on the bill, were the guests.

Listen to it here. It is 27 minutes long.

During the show, Delegate Luiz Simmons explains that "only seven percent" of the Protective Orders that are heard in hearing are dismissed for not meeting the standard, being "frivolous" in nature. Only seven percent. A commenter wondered how many of those seven percent were murdered. I wonder that too. Delegate Simmons seems to be more concerned for the alleged batterers than the potential victims. He has shown this concern in previous legislation he has submitted, including a bill to expunge alleged domestic batterer's records that thankfully was defeated in the last session.

Delegate Simmons brags that the 15 delegates of the 21 voting members reach across a wide range of demographics, including two women of color, Democrats, Republicans, men of color, a Latino, etc. Yet Kojo questioned his rational of women supporting the issue when actually the majority of the women voted for the measure.

Eileen King of Justice For Children was also on the show, as she accompanied Amy Castillo to the February 25th hearing on the bill by the House Judiciary Committee. She pointed out that Amy was summarily dismissed by Delegate Simmons as not being credible based upon transcripts from her protective order hearing, where she was seeking protection from the husband that eventually killed all three of their children. Delegate Simmons made sure the whole room knew she wasn't credible then because she had to have sex with her husband the night of the threats against their lives (even though her children were killed). Kojo mentioned the sensational cases like this and what he viewed as the Committee's attempt to balance it out with all cases. I don't know what Delegate Simmon's denigration of Amy Castillo has to do with "balancing" this out. The fact is he went after it like a pig, and I don't think I am the only one thinking this.

From WAMU:

Domestic Violence and Protective Orders in Maryland

Listen Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010 at 12:06 p.m. in Politics

Maryland lawmakers recently killed a bill that would make it easier for victims of domestic violence to receive a final protective order against their abusers. Supporters say the measure would bring Maryland in line with the rest of the country, but critics warn it could lead to a flood of false accusations. Join Kojo as we go inside the debate and hear about the latest legislative maneuvers on the issue.

Original story link here.


Sue Hecht

Member, Maryland House of Delegates (D-District 3A, Frederick County)

Luiz Simmons

Delegate (D-17th Dist.), Maryland State House of Delegates

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