Tougher domestic violence law sought
ANNAPOLIS - Legislation that seeks to put more teeth into protective court orders issued in domestic violence cases faced some tough questions Wednesday from a Maryland General Assembly committee.
Several members of the House Judiciary Committee asked Del. D. Bruce Poole, D-Washington, if there was a need for his bill, under which a slaying in violation of a protective order automatically would be a first-degree murder case.
Some panel members said current law allows for first-degree charges in domestic violence killings.
But Poole said the bill is needed because many women feel protective orders have limited powers, especially in rural areas where police may be far away and unable to keep an eye on every person seeking protection from an abusive spouse.