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John Ashcroft

A proven plan to prevent city murders

A proven plan to prevent city murders

Proposals to prevent homicides usually address "root causes," the historical circumstances that impel people to commit murder. Some causes are rooted immutably in human nature, while others stem from societal influences and can be changed over time. But police and prosecutors struggling to stop the killers who plague Baltimore City do not have the luxury of time. They need to use law enforcement tools that deter crime despite the persistence of root causes.

Incarcerating armed criminals and their accomplices is an obvious strategy to prevent murders. Long prison sentences incapacitate repeat offenders and...