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By Nick Madigan and Nick Madigan,Sun Reporter | July 18, 2008
Undercover Maryland State Police officers repeatedly spied on peace activists and anti-death penalty groups in recent years and entered the names of some in a law-enforcement database of people thought to be terrorists or drug traffickers, newly released documents show. The files, made public yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, depict a pattern of infiltration of the activists' organizations in 2005 and 2006.
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NEWS
By Richard E. Vatz | October 10, 2011
What can one say in the argument over capital punishment that hasn't been said before? Perhaps only that the case is not one-sided and that both supporters and opponents typically play fast and loose with the evidence. Let us dispense, for now, with the unrepresentative horror stories of vile killers who were never executed or sympathetic defendants convicted with insufficient evidence. I generally support the state's seriously considering taking the life of those convicted of committing first-degree murder or worse.
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NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Gadi Dechter and and Laura Smitherman and Gadi Dechter and and,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com and gadi.dechter@baltsun.com | November 14, 2008
Armed with a recommendation from a state commission to abolish Maryland's death penalty, opponents who have long sought to end the practice are hoping to finally put the matter to rest by pressuring key lawmakers to switch their votes. With many opinions solidified on the personal and divisive issue, anti-death penalty and religious activists are focused on converting just one lawmaker on a Senate committee. Many Annapolis observers say the panel could be the only roadblock to passing a repeal bill - but getting the single vote needed to send the legislation to the floor for an up-or-down vote is far from certain.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Gadi Dechter and and Laura Smitherman and Gadi Dechter and and,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com and gadi.dechter@baltsun.com | November 14, 2008
Armed with a recommendation from a state commission to abolish Maryland's death penalty, opponents who have long sought to end the practice are hoping to finally put the matter to rest by pressuring key lawmakers to switch their votes. With many opinions solidified on the personal and divisive issue, anti-death penalty and religious activists are focused on converting just one lawmaker on a Senate committee. Many Annapolis observers say the panel could be the only roadblock to passing a repeal bill - but getting the single vote needed to send the legislation to the floor for an up-or-down vote is far from certain.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | February 11, 1998
The execution of convicted murderer and admitted sadist Karla Faye Tucker sent America's anti-death penalty crowd into predictable fits of wailing and paroxysms. As is usually the case with this gaggle of bleeding heart knee-jerkers, key details were ignored.And the most salient detail in the case of Tucker was not her date with the executioner, but her victims. As usually happens in death penalty cases, the victims were forgotten. But death penalty cases do not pop up out of a vacuum. They exist because someone's been murdered.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | December 6, 1998
MIKE STARK SAT AT the table and talked with passion. So much passion, in fact, that at times he pounded the table with his knuckles for emphasis. He was passionate about his hatred of injustice, his hatred of racism.And his total revulsion for the death penalty.Stark is a handsome young man of 27, a computer programmer who lives in Maryland's Washington suburbs. The night Tyrone Gilliam was executed for the murder of Christine Doerfler, Stark was outside with scores of others making their displeasure known.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | December 18, 1996
Nuns -- as I learned in my Sunday school, Bible school and catechism classes at St. Pius V Roman Catholic Church -- are a deceptively tough bunch. Today the toughest is probably Sister Helen Prejean.Prejean is the anti-death penalty activist whose friendship with a Louisiana death row inmate inspired the 1995 film "Dead Man Walking." She has toured the country since then, this plucky, bespectacled, graying nun, preaching against the evils of the death penalty. She scolds us for clinging to it, exhorting us that we are better people than to execute murderers.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | May 8, 2006
Hoping to draw attention to today's death penalty hearing at the Maryland Court of Appeals, a small group of anti-death penalty activists set out yesterday on the second leg of a three-day walk from Baltimore to Annapolis. Lawyers for death row inmate Vernon Lee Evans Jr. will argue before the state's highest court that the convicted killer should be granted a hearing to explore whether he was unfairly sentenced to death because of the policy of Baltimore County's top prosecutor and because of statewide racial and geographic disparities in the use of capital punishment.
NEWS
By Gregory Kane | July 16, 1997
THE STATE of Maryland finally put convicted cop killer Flint Gregory Hunt to death two weeks ago, over the protests of the typical horde of liberal bleeding hearts, moaners and everyone else with a soft spot in their hearts for murderers.Those of us who support the death penalty simply want to know what took the state so long to execute Hunt in the first place and why can't the state get on with dispatching Maryland's other deserving death row inmates.On July 4, Sun reporter Ivan Penn had a story about five other inmates on death row, along with a brief description of their crimes.
NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,stephanie.desmon@baltsun.com | October 24, 2008
Maryland State Police spied on environmentalists - not just the death penalty opponents and war protesters that officials had previously acknowledged watching and entering into a database of terrorism suspects - a revelation that has intensified calls for new regulations on surveillance of activist groups. Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, released yesterday an Oct. 6 letter from the state police superintendent informing him that he was a target of surveillance in 2005 and 2006 and was entered into a multistate database as a suspected terrorist.
NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,stephanie.desmon@baltsun.com | October 24, 2008
Maryland State Police spied on environmentalists - not just the death penalty opponents and war protesters that officials had previously acknowledged watching and entering into a database of terrorism suspects - a revelation that has intensified calls for new regulations on surveillance of activist groups. Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, released yesterday an Oct. 6 letter from the state police superintendent informing him that he was a target of surveillance in 2005 and 2006 and was entered into a multistate database as a suspected terrorist.
NEWS
By Nick Madigan and Nick Madigan,Sun Reporter | July 18, 2008
Undercover Maryland State Police officers repeatedly spied on peace activists and anti-death penalty groups in recent years and entered the names of some in a law-enforcement database of people thought to be terrorists or drug traffickers, newly released documents show. The files, made public yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, depict a pattern of infiltration of the activists' organizations in 2005 and 2006.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | May 8, 2006
Hoping to draw attention to today's death penalty hearing at the Maryland Court of Appeals, a small group of anti-death penalty activists set out yesterday on the second leg of a three-day walk from Baltimore to Annapolis. Lawyers for death row inmate Vernon Lee Evans Jr. will argue before the state's highest court that the convicted killer should be granted a hearing to explore whether he was unfairly sentenced to death because of the policy of Baltimore County's top prosecutor and because of statewide racial and geographic disparities in the use of capital punishment.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | January 27, 2006
He has answered questions about prison conditions in the United States. He responded to a man who asked why he wouldn't "stand up and take your punishment like a man." And he has written of life on Maryland's death row - its food, the daily routines and how he has filled the hours during nearly 23 years behind bars. Vernon Lee Evans Jr., 56, a convicted killer scheduled to be executed next month, has a blog. "When I first read your sentence, the first thing that came to mind was how Jesus was tested by Satan in the wilderness," Evans wrote in April, under a posting titled "Whining," to the man who asked whether he would accept his fate.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN AND KELLY BREWINGTON and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN AND KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTERS | November 30, 2005
Death penalty opponents hoping to win clemency for a convicted killer scheduled to be executed next week unveiled an advertising campaign yesterday aimed at pressuring not only Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. but also Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a longtime opponent of capital punishment. The ad campaign calls on Ehrlich and Steele to halt next week's scheduled execution of Wesley Eugene Baker and commute his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The drive came as Virginia's governor spared a convicted killer who would have been the 1,000th person executed since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | April 6, 2003
Fred Romano is angry. With a torrent of words, he launches into his tirade about the "thug huggers" who want to save Steven Oken, his sister's killer, from lethal injection. "It makes me sick," the former Marine said. "It appalls me! It's been 12 years since he's been convicted. If I had a chance, I would take him out myself." He leans forward, dark eyes wide, strong jaw set. "It's time to stop worrying about the scumbags on death row," he said. This is Fred Romano on a mission. For two years, the 33-year-old has raged publicly about the state's death penalty system, a system he and his family became a part of in 1987, when Oken, an admitted sexual sadist, raped and executed his sister, 20-year-old Dawn Marie Garvin of White Marsh.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN AND KELLY BREWINGTON and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN AND KELLY BREWINGTON,SUN REPORTERS | November 30, 2005
Death penalty opponents hoping to win clemency for a convicted killer scheduled to be executed next week unveiled an advertising campaign yesterday aimed at pressuring not only Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. but also Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a longtime opponent of capital punishment. The ad campaign calls on Ehrlich and Steele to halt next week's scheduled execution of Wesley Eugene Baker and commute his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The drive came as Virginia's governor spared a convicted killer who would have been the 1,000th person executed since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | January 27, 2006
He has answered questions about prison conditions in the United States. He responded to a man who asked why he wouldn't "stand up and take your punishment like a man." And he has written of life on Maryland's death row - its food, the daily routines and how he has filled the hours during nearly 23 years behind bars. Vernon Lee Evans Jr., 56, a convicted killer scheduled to be executed next month, has a blog. "When I first read your sentence, the first thing that came to mind was how Jesus was tested by Satan in the wilderness," Evans wrote in April, under a posting titled "Whining," to the man who asked whether he would accept his fate.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | December 6, 1998
MIKE STARK SAT AT the table and talked with passion. So much passion, in fact, that at times he pounded the table with his knuckles for emphasis. He was passionate about his hatred of injustice, his hatred of racism.And his total revulsion for the death penalty.Stark is a handsome young man of 27, a computer programmer who lives in Maryland's Washington suburbs. The night Tyrone Gilliam was executed for the murder of Christine Doerfler, Stark was outside with scores of others making their displeasure known.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | February 11, 1998
The execution of convicted murderer and admitted sadist Karla Faye Tucker sent America's anti-death penalty crowd into predictable fits of wailing and paroxysms. As is usually the case with this gaggle of bleeding heart knee-jerkers, key details were ignored.And the most salient detail in the case of Tucker was not her date with the executioner, but her victims. As usually happens in death penalty cases, the victims were forgotten. But death penalty cases do not pop up out of a vacuum. They exist because someone's been murdered.
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