The Governor's Commission on the Death Penalty did an intelligent and thorough job of analyzing capital punishment in TTC Maryland since 1978 -- the year a new law was adopted after the Supreme Court overturned all state death penalty laws. Maryland mistakenly chose not to abandon the death penalty, though it might as well have. No one has been executed since then, nor, says the commission, is anyone likely to be for the next couple of years (with the possible exception of a "volunteer" like John Thanos).
While the commission report is well done, it is not pleasant reading. In cold, legal, academic language, it defends the indefensible: the taking of human life by the state. The ethical questions involved in capital punishment were not formally before the commission, and some members may personally be opposed to capital punishment. But for the record, the seven-member commission concluded with only one dissent that "the death penalty need not be abandoned for reasons of excessive cost and delay, or unfairness."