The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 610 - Crimes - Accessory After the Fact - Benefit of Clergy.

This bill codifies the common law felony of accessory after the fact. The bill provides that, unless another penalty is provided by law, the penalty for the offense is the lesser of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a penalty not exceeding the maximum penalty provided by law for committing the crime. The bill also retains the existing statute abolishing benefit of clergy, but alters it to eliminate references to sentences for felonies that previously were or were not subject to benefit of clergy.

Senate Bill 620, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 610.

Parris N. Glendening