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By GEORGE F. WILL | February 28, 1994
Washington. -- Justice Harry Blackmun, again confusing autobiography with constitutional reasoning, has dissented from the Supreme Court's refusal to review a Texas capital-punishment conviction, announcing that he is too personally distressed ever again to sanction the death penalty, no matter what.His 22-page outburst, refuted by Justice Antonin Scalia in four scalding paragraphs, uses the results of the court's recent rulings about how capital punishment can be constitutional as an excuse for declaring capital punishment unconstitutional.
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NEWS
By Jean Marbella and Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | December 6, 2013
Kweisi Mfume was a Baltimore city councilman when he received what would be the first of many words of wisdom from Nelson Mandela. "Do not give up," Mfume said Mandela wrote him from prison, where he had somehow read about the councilman's efforts in the 1980s to get the city to divest from companies that did business with the apartheid government of South Africa. The two had never met, although Mfume had been agitating for his release since his student days at Morgan State University.
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NEWS
By PETER A. JAY | August 12, 1991
Havre de Grace. - Funerals tend to encourage reflection on broad themes of life and death, and so it's probably not surprising that following the memorial service for a friend and neighbor of mine last week, I found myself once again wrestling with that old question of capital punishment.My neighbor, Sid Kreider, was a physician at Johns Hopkins who died of cancer at the age of 56 -- an unfairly early end, it seemed to those who knew him, to an exemplary and unusually productive life. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Sid was an active conservationist and a devoted family man, and if he had been given more time there's little doubt he would have used it well.
NEWS
August 14, 2013
So U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is going to let out elderly prisoners who were supposed to be serving life sentences for capital crimes such as murder ("U.S. plans drugs shift," Aug. 12). I guess we were snookered again when we traded capital punishment for life in prison for crimes of murder. What has happened is that the convicted murderers have been cared for better than anyone on the outside. Prison officials have come to the realization that more and more murderers are living long healthy lives behind bars and that so many have and are going to accumulate that we will end up having state and federal "Long Term Health Care Prisons," or "Assisted Living Prisons" for a growing population of old murderers.
NEWS
February 28, 2011
If this year's Maryland legislature does away with capital punishment ( "Double victims," Feb. 27), I sincerely hoped that they will retain it for the killing of prison guards and policemen. Alfred H. Funk Jr., Timonium
NEWS
March 24, 2011
I do not know why our state representatives want to waste their time debating capital punishment in the state of Maryland. The death penalty in this state is a big joke. After reading the Baltimore Sun article "Officer shot at nearly same spot where colleague was killed in 2001" (March 22) I am even more convinced that there is no capital punishment here. The article states "the gunman fired a bullet into his leg, then stood over [Officer Michael J.] Cowdery's body and pumped another round into his head.
NEWS
March 7, 2013
The Maryland Senate's vote today to repeal the death penalty was a milestone in an effort to remove from the law a sentence that puts vengeance above justice, fails to deter crime and provides for the families of victims not the closure they crave but instead years of frustration and heartache. With the 27-20 vote - a solid majority that included two Republicans and 25 Democrats - repeal supporters are already looking ahead to the possibility that Maryland could provide momentum for ending capital punishment in other states, and ultimately help convince the Supreme Court that the death penalty is cruel and unusual.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
Maryland's death penalty will be wiped from the books in October now that efforts to reinstate capital punishment have fallen short. The petition drive to halt repeal of the death penalty ended Friday afternoon, when organizers said they could not collect enough signatures to go forward. Meanwhile, advocates who worked for nearly a decade to end capital punishment in Maryland celebrated the final landmark in their victory. The failure is the first for MdPetitions.com, which had successfully forced a statewide vote on three laws, including same-sex marriage, in 2012.
EXPLORE
February 7, 2013
At a time when violent crime remains high in Maryland and America's Second Amendment rights are under attack, Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley has continued to advance his radical, liberal agenda by recently arguing for the abolishment of capital punishment in our state. He contends that it is costly and ineffective. Mr. Governor, capital punishment has been ineffective in Maryland because it is seldom ever implemented. The last execution in Maryland occurred back in 2005. Furthermore, it is costly because of the process of appeals and exorbitant trial lawyers.
NEWS
June 18, 2013
All you folks out there who were celebrating the repeal of Maryland's death penalty, rejoice. A 29-year-old Cecil County man has been charged in the rape and murder of 10 year old Kami Ring of Charlestown ("Man Charged in Killing of Girl, 10," June 14). The worst punishment in the great state of Maryland this animal can receive is life without parole. If convicted, we taxpayers get to provide his room, board and medical care for the rest of his life (maybe the next 40 or 60 years). Brian Spector, Easton
NEWS
June 20, 2013
I just read a letter from a reader who is whining about the lack of a death penalty as punishment for the man who allegedly raped and murdered Kami King ("Cecil girl's murder shows error of Md.'s decision to abolish capital punishment," June 17), and I couldn't help thinking about Kirk Bloodsworth, the man who was convicted of a similar crime and who spent years on death row before it finally came out that he was not responsible at all, someone else was. Just think, if the state had carried out their unfair and arbitrary death sentence, an innocent man would have been murdered by our state - and by extension, by all of us citizens of Maryland.
NEWS
June 19, 2013
If ever a case screams out for capital punishment, it is the torture, rape, and murder of a 10-year-old girl ("New details emerge in killing of Cecil Co. girl," June 15). But oh, no, capital punishment is "cruel and unusual," as our royalty in Annapolis have decided for us. It is no longer available even for such situations as the murder of Kami Ring. I wonder what she would say about "cruel and unusual?" Is it a deterrent? Yes, that blob of protoplasm would never murder again. Is it in the public interest?
NEWS
June 18, 2013
All you folks out there who were celebrating the repeal of Maryland's death penalty, rejoice. A 29-year-old Cecil County man has been charged in the rape and murder of 10 year old Kami Ring of Charlestown ("Man Charged in Killing of Girl, 10," June 14). The worst punishment in the great state of Maryland this animal can receive is life without parole. If convicted, we taxpayers get to provide his room, board and medical care for the rest of his life (maybe the next 40 or 60 years). Brian Spector, Easton
NEWS
By Benjamin Todd Jealous | June 2, 2013
The death penalty debate in Maryland is finally over. This spring's decision by the General Assembly to replace the death penalty with life without parole was cemented last week, when right-wing activists failed to muster enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot. We, the people of Maryland, have sent a clear and firm message: capital punishment belongs in our past, not our future. In doing so, we have joined New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois and Connecticut as the sixth state in six years and 18th in the nation to abolish the death penalty.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
Activists who worked to repeal the death penalty anxiously awaited news Friday that their efforts would not be overturned by a successful petition drive.  "It sounds like they're going to announce that they don't have the signatures," said Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions. "We're happy with that scenario. Democracy's already been served. ... I'm excitedly waiting to see if, come midnight, I'm out of a job. "  Despite a flurry of last-minute signature-gathering, proponents of capital punishment may abandon their efforts to put the death penalty to a referendum vote in 2014.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
Maryland's death penalty will be wiped from the books in October now that efforts to reinstate capital punishment have fallen short. The petition drive to halt repeal of the death penalty ended Friday afternoon, when organizers said they could not collect enough signatures to go forward. Meanwhile, advocates who worked for nearly a decade to end capital punishment in Maryland celebrated the final landmark in their victory. The failure is the first for MdPetitions.com, which had successfully forced a statewide vote on three laws, including same-sex marriage, in 2012.
NEWS
July 28, 2011
All of us mourn the senseless killing of Maryland corrections officer David McGuinn, who was murdered at the Maryland House of Correction in 2006. ("New death penalty law, appeals delay trials in killing of correctional officer," July 25.) The article highlights the five-year delay in bringing a prosecution in Mr. McGuinn's murder. Some of that delay was the unintended result of passage in 2009 of important new evidentiary requirements in Maryland's death penalty statute. This case highlights the challenges that prosecutors face in mounting a capital case.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2013
One day after Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation to abolish capital punishment in Maryland, death penalty supporters said Friday they will launch a petition drive to give voters the opportunity to overturn the new law. At a news conference, Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said he plans to lead the effort to "repeal the repeal" of the state's death penalty. "We need to retain the death penalty for those prosecutors who wish to seek it because it is simply the right thing to do for public safety," said Shellenberger, a Democrat.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2013
Surrounded by religious leaders, civil rights activists and others who have fought for years to stop executions in Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation Thursday repealing the state's death penalty. Unless the law is overturned in a referendum, Maryland will become the 18th state to end capital punishment, leaving life without parole as the maximum penalty for any crime. "We have a responsibility to stop doing those things that are wasteful and ineffective," O'Malley, a Democrat, said before putting pen to paper.
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