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NEWS
May 26, 2002
Up for debate: Which murder is most heinous? Gregory Kane's column "Homicide data should give death penalty foes pause" (May 22) seeks to justify the racial disparity on Maryland's death row with statistics that show that blacks on death row are not out of proportion to their numbers as offenders in felony murder cases and that whites are more often the victims of felony homicides. Mr. Kane's premise is that these statistics are relevant because felony murder is the most likely way to be death-penalty eligible in Maryland, and perpetrators of felony murder are considered the "most vicious and dangerous."
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NEWS
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2010
When 6-year-old Connor Johns visits Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on Monday, he will be wearing the combat fatigues that his half-brother, Jordan, picked out for him before he was deployed in Afghanistan. "He wears that outfit constantly," said Kandy Poole Johns, the boys' mother. "Connor loved Jordan, looked up to him as his hero and will always remember him as a Marine." Twenty-four-year-old Lance Cpl. Jordan Chrobot of Frederick, who died last Sept. 26 during a firefight in Helmand province, was one of 10 Marylanders killed in Afghanistan since last Memorial Day. The state's 12-month toll is the highest since the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom in response to the attacks of Sept.
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NEWS
February 28, 2009
Maryland will be better off without the death penalty ("Senate may debate death penalty repeal," Feb. 26). Repeal would allow Maryland to develop policies that are more effective at preventing crime and helping victims' families. The flaws in capital punishment, which were reflected in the hearings of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, have been well researched and well known for decades: * It does not deter crime. * It costs much more than the alternatives. * It drags out the suffering of victims' families rather than bringing them closure.
NEWS
October 13, 2009
The fundamental question to be asked about the "serious flaws" that a legislative panel reviewing Maryland's death penalty protocols has found in how the state executes condemned inmates is this: Are there substantive ethical and legal problems with the procedure that require further study before executions can proceed, as panel members insist? Or is the finding merely an excuse to extend the de facto moratorium on executions that has existed since 2006, as death penalty supporters argue?
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | February 28, 2003
A Baltimore County man could soon be sentenced to death, becoming the only inmate on Maryland's death row whose victims were African-Americans. Douglas A. Starliper, who is white, was found guilty this week of killing his childhood friends Lavonne K. Hall, 19, and Douglas L. Hebron, 20, and is scheduled to go before Baltimore County Circuit Judge Dana M. Levitz today to begin his sentencing hearing. Prosecutors are asking the judge to impose a death sentence. All 12 people on Maryland's death row were convicted of killing white people - a fact death penalty opponents have used to argue that Maryland's death penalty law is racially biased.
NEWS
By Jen Corlew | January 10, 2003
WASHINGTON - University of Maryland researchers have released the most sophisticated study on race and the death penalty ever conducted in the United States, but Maryland's incoming governor has already written it off. Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has announced that upon taking office next week he will immediately lift the moratorium on executions in Maryland that was instituted following questions about racial disparity in the application of the...
NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | July 4, 1997
With the execution of Flint Gregory Hunt, 16 prisoners remain on Maryland's death row, and it appears that Tyrone Delano Gilliam could be next to face lethal injection.If Gilliam's death sentence is not overturned, he could be VTC executed as early as next summer -- a year after Hunt, who was put to death at 12: 27 a.m. Wednesday for the 1985 murder of Baltimore police Officer Vincent J. Adolfo.Gilliam of Rosedale was convicted in 1989 of the murder of Christine J. Doerfler, 21, of Baltimore during a robbery that netted $3. Doerfler was killed by a single shotgun blast to the head at the end of Gum Spring Road in a secluded area near the intersection of Interstates 95 and 695.A co-defendant testified that Gilliam shot the woman because she saw the killer's face.
NEWS
July 10, 2002
Death penalty threatens lives of the innocent Maryland can learn a great deal from U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff's decision to declare the federal death penalty unconstitutional ("Judge rules federal death penalty unconstitutional," July 2). Many of the reasons that Judge Rakoff cited in his decision to halt federal executions apply directly to Maryland's death row. Judge Rakoff found that, with DNA testing, "the most clear and compelling evidence of innocent people being sentenced to death chiefly emerged."
NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer | June 5, 1994
When Maryland held its first execution in more than three decades on May 17, it had the ideal candidate: a white multiple murderer who virtually volunteered for the death penalty.But John F. Thanos, who killed three teen-agers during a week of crime in 1990, had little in common with the 14 men who remain on Maryland's death row.They're fighting their executions, and they're expected once again to raise serious questions about racial and geographical bias in determining who gets the death penalty and why. Among the issues:* Twelve of the 14 are black, although blacks represent only 25 percent of Maryland's population.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF | December 20, 2002
The crowd was thin at yesterday's anti-capital punishment rally outside Maryland's brick death-row unit, but the message was meant for just one person anyway: Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Speaking mainly to television cameras in downtown Baltimore, the 15 activists and family members of condemned men said they fear the Ehrlich administration will ignore a new study on the fairness of the state's death penalty. The University of Maryland study, commissioned two years ago by Gov. Parris N. Glendening and paid for with $225,000 in state funds, is expected to be released soon.
NEWS
May 8, 2009
The death penalty law Gov. Martin O'Malley signed Thursday didn't give opponents of capital punishment everything they wanted, but it marked a significant step toward ending executions in Maryland by significantly narrowing the circumstances under which the ultimate punishment can be imposed. Under the new law, prosecutors may seek the death penalty only in cases where there is DNA or biological evidence, a videotape of the crime or a video-recorded confession by the killer. The new limitations make Maryland's death penalty law among the most restrictive in the country.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | March 21, 2009
A House of Delegates committee approved the Senate's plan yesterday to restrict capital punishment to cases with specific kinds of evidence, a major step toward added limitations on Maryland's death penalty that could receive final legislative approval as soon as next week. Gov. Martin O'Malley had called on the Senate to abolish the death penalty, and the House appeared poised to follow suit. But the governor urged delegates this week to abandon the repeal in favor of the Senate plan.
NEWS
February 28, 2009
Maryland will be better off without the death penalty ("Senate may debate death penalty repeal," Feb. 26). Repeal would allow Maryland to develop policies that are more effective at preventing crime and helping victims' families. The flaws in capital punishment, which were reflected in the hearings of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, have been well researched and well known for decades: * It does not deter crime. * It costs much more than the alternatives. * It drags out the suffering of victims' families rather than bringing them closure.
NEWS
February 1, 2009
Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to take the lead on repealing Maryland's death penalty has revived the up-to-now moribund chances of overturning the law. For the first time in years, there's talk that legislation to repeal capital punishment has a shot to emerge from a Senate committee, where it has been stuck because of entrenched opponents. Mr. O'Malley has long opposed the death penalty and spoken out against it. But putting the power of his office and his skills of personal persuasion behind a repeal bill will add considerable heft to the fight.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin | November 16, 2008
When the New Jersey legislature voted late last year to repeal the death penalty, it did so on the heels of a near-unanimous recommendation from a state commission that said capital punishment was too costly, too arbitrary and too tough on victims' families to justify the risk of an irreversible mistake. So when Maryland lawmakers created a panel to study the issue, death penalty opponents hoped it would produce a similar recommendation and provide the boost needed to repeal the death penalty law. Last week, they got that recommendation - but on a much closer vote than in New Jersey, where the margin was 12-1.
NEWS
November 14, 2008
Maryland's death penalty law violates the most basic standards of fairness and decency. That's the conclusion of a state commission on capital punishment, and it should prompt citizens to insist that lawmakers bring the issue to a vote when they convene in Annapolis next year. The panel found, among other things, that the death penalty does not deter crime and is arbitrary and capricious, biased against African-Americans and fraught with risk for executing innocent people. During public hearings, the commissioners heard from dozens of witnesses and reviewed a large body of evidence pointing to the inescapable fact that the state's death penalty law is so deeply flawed that no amount of tinkering is likely to bring it into accord with the principals of equal justice.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | May 14, 2002
AND SO Wesley Eugene Baker, as repugnant a human being as ever murdered a woman in front of her grandchildren, gets a new (if brief) lease on life. And the family of poor Jane Tyson, shot to death 11 years ago outside Westview Mall, is left to feel pushed aside like some insignificant afterthought. Life is unfair. Gov. Parris Glendening has put a hold on state executions. At moments such as this, when killers get a break, the state itself seems to become an accessory after the crime. Baker, scheduled for execution this week, instead lies on his prison bed and watches himself perform the miraculous act of continuous, uninterrupted breathing.
NEWS
By Bonnita Spikes | November 7, 2006
It was a moment of understanding that came in the midst of a heated argument among strangers in a courthouse hallway. The couple I was speaking with had likely been to the Maryland Court of Appeals more times than I. Her parents were murdered in their Baltimore home in 1983, and the man convicted of killing them still sits on death row. That day, the court was hearing an appeal in another death case: Maryland's death penalty was being challenged based...
NEWS
September 25, 2008
In a democracy, there can be no greater miscarriage of justice than the execution of an innocent person. Yet this week, the state of Georgia came frighteningly close to that possibility in the case of Troy A. Davis, a death row inmate awaiting execution for the 1989 killing of a Savannah police officer. His conviction was based almost entirely on the statements of nine purported eyewitnesses, seven of whom later recanted their testimony. Mr. Davis was only hours from execution when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay.
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