Protesters demand governor halt execution

More than 100 attend rally at Supermax prison


More than 100 people rallied yesterday outside the state's Supermax prison in Baltimore to demand that Gov. Parris N. Glendening stop the planned execution this month of convicted murderer Eugene Colvin-el.

Protesters carried signs saying "Capital Punishment Is Cold-Blooded Murder" and "Capital Punishment Means Them Without the Capital Get the Punishment." Speakers denounced the death penalty as arbitrary and racially discriminatory.

Colvin-el, Maryland's oldest death-row inmate at 55, was convicted in the 1980 slaying of Lena S. Buckman, who was stabbed 28 times in her daughter's Pikesville home.

Critics of his death sentence have noted that all the evidence against him is circumstantial -- including his fingerprint found on broken glass outside the house where Buckman was killed. They have called on Glendening to follow the example of Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who declared a moratorium on executions there because some condemned inmates were later proved innocent.

Colvin-el is scheduled for execution during the week of June 12. His execution would be the fourth in Maryland since the death penalty was reinstated in 1975.

Cardinal William H. Keeler was joined by the state's two other Roman Catholic bishops Thursday in calling for clemency for Colvin-el.

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