Moore signs bill to ensure violent sex offenders can’t get “good behavior” time credits in jail

22 May 2024- Spurred by the death of a tech entrepreneur in Baltimore last year, Maryland Governor Wes Moore has signed off on a bill that eliminates so called “good time” credits for those convicted in the state of certain rape and sexual assault offenses. This means that a person convicted of some of the most heinous rape cases, including sexual assault of a child, cannot simply be let out of jail for “good behavior”.

The death of EcoMap Technologies CEO Pava LaPere in September of 2023 shocked the nation and Maryland alike after it was revealed the man accused of strangling her and sexually assaulting her was Jason Dean Billingsley. Billingsley has already been convicted of sex offenses and was being sought by police as a suspect in ANOTHER rape, arson, and attempted murder case just days before LaPere’s death. Billingsley has previous convictions not only for rape and armed robbery but also assault and is facing additional active charges involving illegal firearms possession, theft, and much more. He was released from prison back in October 2022 as part of what Maryland calls the “Automatic Diminution System”.

Through the prior system, Billingsley was able to get up to 20 days off a month of jail time for good behavior. And yes, this applied to those serving time for violent crime. The only people NOT eligible that had cases similar to Billingsley were those convicted of rape and third-degree sexual assault against minors 16 and younger.

This has now been changed and anyone convicted of an offense on or after October 1st, 2024 under Maryland’s §3–303 cannot be eligible for “diminution of the incarcerated individual’s term of confinement”. It is unknown how many people this would have kept off the streets previously convicted of violent sex crimes.

Again, while the bill was signed into law recently, it will not take legal effect until October 1st of 2024.