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Death Penalty

NEWS
March 28, 2013
As a strong proponent of abolishing Maryland's death penalty, I was pleased to learn that the General Assembly recently voted to eliminate the practice ("Reason over revenge, at long last," March 17). I oppose the death penalty because it is an inhumane act that serves no purpose and because it has led to wrongly convicted individuals being sentenced to death. I encourage skeptics to read the compelling story of Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander on death row who became the first inmate in the nation ever to be exonerated by DNA evidence.
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NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2013
Proponents of overturning Maryland's death penalty appear to be within one or two votes of gaining enough political clout to push repeal through the state Senate, where previous efforts have failed. Gov. Martin O'Malley and Senate President Thomas Mike V. Miller said Tuesday that, at most, two legislators stand in the way of bringing the issue to a floor vote. Miller has said he would ensure the issue gets a vote in the 47-member chamber, after previous bills had been bottled up in a committee, if the governor lines up enough support for passage.
NEWS
January 7, 2013
In Gerald Stansbury's commentary ("Unrepresentative committee blocks Md. death penalty repeal vote," Jan. 2), he implies that four of members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee members who voted "no" on allowing the death penalty to go to a floor vote did so because they are white and from Baltimore County and do not represent those most affected - people of color. Mr. Stansbury states that "this racial bias has no place in public policy," as he sees it from his position as president of the NAACP Maryland State Conference.
NEWS
December 2, 2012
Having successfully pushed for historic changes in Maryland laws regarding expanded casino gambling, in-state college tuition rates for some undocumented-immigrant students, and the right of gay people to marry, Gov. Martin O'Malley is now in a position to address one of the last great pieces of unfinished business of his time in Annapolis: abolishing the state's death penalty. Mr. O'Malley, who opposes capital punishment on religious and practical grounds, reportedly is considering whether to ask the legislature to take up the matter again when it meets in January.
NEWS
April 29, 2014
The continued existence of Maryland's death row a year after the General Assembly abolished capital punishment was brought into question by two events this month, one obvious and one less so. The first is the death, apparently of natural causes, of one of the five inmates put in limbo after the death penalty repeal, John Booth-el. As a result, advocates are renewing their questions about whether it would be appropriate for Maryland to go forward with executions now that the legislature has found the death penalty inappropriate.
NEWS
April 30, 2012
Connecticut Gov.Dannel P. Malloyhas signed a bill outlawing the death penalty, which passed both the House and the Senate with bi-partisan support. Connecticut is the 5th state in five years and the 17th state in the nation to have abandoned the death penalty. The criminal justice system, like all human institutions, is imperfect. Where the death penalty is concerned, it isn't a question of whether the state has executed an innocent person. The only relevant questions are when has the state done so, and how often.
NEWS
by Annie Linskey | December 12, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malley is set to meet with NAACP president Benjamin Jealous Thursday morning to discuss topics including repealing the death penalty, according to a spokeswoman for the governor. The meeting, planned for 9:30 a.m. at the state house, was granted at Jealous's request. "They are meeting," said O'Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory. "The death penalty will be a topic of discussion. " The NAACP will hold a news conference after the meeting. This year, the civil rights organization plans a major push for full repeal of the death penalty.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty is one step closer to passage after a House committee voted Friday to approve it. The bill - already passed by the Senate - goes now to the full House of Delegates. The House Judiciary Committee's 14-8 vote to approve the bill came after Republicans offered more than a half-dozen amendments seeking to allow the death penalty for some crimes, including mass murder. One after another, they were voted down by the same margin as on the bill itself.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2012
More than three dozen legal scholars and attorneys — including former Gov. Harry R. Hughes and two former Maryland attorneys general, J. Joseph Curran Jr. and Stephen H. Sachs — are sending a letter and report to members of the General Assembly urging the repeal of the state's death penalty. "There's a lot of misconception about Maryland's law" among legislators and the general public, said Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, which organized the lobbying effort.
NEWS
March 14, 2013
Since the the death penalty has not been carried out in Maryland since 2005 and is not anticipated to be used again, the debate over whether it should be abolished is almost academic ("House committee approves death penalty repeal" Mar. 8). However there is at least one compelling reason to retain it. If an individual now pleads guilty in a plea bargain to murder to avoid the death penalty, winding up with accepting life in prison without parole, serves justice. However without the death penalty, when the prisoner would plead guilty, instead of agreeing to life without parole, he or she will demand a lesser sentence and even for the most heinous crimes will be eligible one day for release.
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