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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2013
The House of Delegates will cast a final vote today on Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed bill repealing the death penalty in Maryland. A series of test votes Wednesday night indicated the measure is almost certain to pass. House approval will send the bill to the governor for his signature. The Senate voted 27-20 for repeal last week. If the repeal is approved, Maryland would become the 18th state in the nation to abolish capital punishment. mdresser@baltsun.com
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NEWS
January 22, 2013
Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger's commentary in favor of the death penalty demands a clarifying response ("'Time to abolish the death penalty in Md.?" Jan. 18). Mr. Shellenberger begins by cherry-picking polling results that show Marylanders are closely divided over repealing the death penalty, with neither side achieving a clear majority. However, poll after poll over the last several years has shown that as many as two-thirds of Marylanders are strongly supportive of the idea that a sentence of life without parole is an acceptable substitute for the death penalty.
NEWS
March 6, 2010
A registered sex offender accused of killing an 11-year-old Salisbury girl last year received notice Friday of prosecutors' intention to seek the death penalty. James Leggs Jr. was reindicted Friday on charges of first-degree murder, two counts of sexual offense and kidnapping in the death of Sarah Haley Foxwell, whose body was found Christmas Day in a wooded area in Delmar. Leggs, 30, was served Friday afternoon at the Wicomico County Detention Center with notice of prosecutors' intent to seek both the death penalty and life without possibility of parole.
NEWS
December 10, 2012
Everyone obviously has an impassioned opinion regarding the death penalty ("Next up: Death penalty," Dec. 3). I have myself wavered in my stance regarding this issue. Is there any benefit to society to repeal the law? If the state retains capital punishment, does it act as a deterrent for people on the street? Does the criminal even think about the consequences before he pulls the trigger and snuffs out the life of another? A writer to The Sun made some significant points regarding abolishing the death penalty ("Time to repeal Maryland death penalty," Dec. 5)
NEWS
January 15, 2012
Your article on the trial of two men charged with killing a correctional officer caught my eye because the case could result in the first death sentence in Maryland since the state changed its death penalty law in 2006 ("Trial opens in prison officer's killing," Jan. 12). A 2003 study found that a defendant is six times more likely to receive the death penalty when the victim is white. Since the victim in this case, Officer David McGuinn, was African-American, it seems statistically unlikely this case will result in the death penalty.
NEWS
January 9, 2013
Amnesty International's Frank Jannuzi wrote one of those letters that causes me to ask, "Where do I begin to answer?" ("Time to repeal Maryland's death penalty," Jan. 8). In the second paragraph, he alludes to the fact that imposition of the death penalty is "extremely expensive," and it is; but the question is, why should that be? No matter which method is used to end the life of a heinous criminal, the "means" to accomplish that are actually inexpensive. How much do those chemicals cost, or that burst of electricity?
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 Erin Cox and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2013
Efforts to end Maryland's death penalty moved forward late Monday as the Senate squashed attempts to retain the death penalty for what one senator called "the worst of the worst. " Senators resumed an emotional debate they left off Friday evening, considering Monday whether to keep capital punishment for people convicted of murdering police officers or inmates who kill correctional officers. Both amendments, offered by Republicans in the Democrat-controlled chamber, failed by wide margins.
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