Society of Senates Past

[Photograph of State Senator]

Democrat, District 22.

Born in New Haven, CT, December 3, 1933 to John J. Garrity Sr. and Agnes Veronica McDermott.  Attended St. Joseph's Orphanage, Burlington VT, and St. Michael's grammar and high school, Brattleboro, VT; Montgomery Junior College; University of North Carolina; American University, B.A., 1961; American University School of Law, J.D., 1963.  Admitted to the Maryland Bar, 1964.  Married to Bertha Ann Garrity; two sons, Kevin Michael and John Joseph, Jr.; three granddaughters, Kelly Marie, Colleen Elizabeth and Kerry Ann Garrity.

General Assembly:
Member, House of Delegates, 1975-78.  Vice-Chair, Prince George's County House Delegation, 1975-78.  Member, House Ways and Means and Joint Committee on Budget and Audit, 1975-78.
Member of Senate, 1978-82.  Member, Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Private Career and Other Public Service:
Served in U.S. Navy, 1955-59.  Member, Governor's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.  Assistant Attorney General of Maryland, 1969-71; Assistant State's Attorney for Prince George's County, 1967-69.  Dean, law fraternity, Delta Theta Phi, Montgomery and Prince George's County, 1969.  President, Young Democrats Prince George's County, 1969-70.  Prince George's County Commissioner, 1970-71.  Member, County Council of Prince George's County, 1971-74, and Chair, 1973.  National Vice-Chair, Judiciary Committee of the National Association of Counties, 1974.   Judge, Court of Special Appeals, 4th Appellate Circuit, 1982-1994.  Charter Member, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.  Founder, "Breakfast of Champions, Inc.," Prince George's County.  Director, Boys Club of Prince George's County.

Personal Comments and Observations:
    The two most controversial issues with which Senator Garrity dealt while in the Senate were abortion and the death penalty.  He identifies himself as a "floor leader of right to life" and as a "floor leader" on the death penalty issue.
    Senator Garrity believes that his most significant contribution as a Maryland Senator was made when he "created legislation on [the] 'Victim Impact Statement;' which is "now nation-wide as adopted by most states and approved by [the] U.S. Supreme Court.  [It] allows victims of crimes to testify as to [the] impact of [the] crime on their lives at sentencing."
    The most humorous moment of Senator Garrity's time in office was "when John Coolahan took off Jerry Connell's hair piece [on the] last day of [the] session."

Compiled March 16, 2000 from the biographical files of the Maryland Manual, ©Maryland State Archives and from materials submitted by Judge Garrity dated January 18, 2000.
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