Friday, May 3, 2013

Maryland Repeals the Death Penalty

Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation today eliminating capital punishment in Maryland. Maryland is the 18th state to make this decision. O’Malley has been fighting for this decision for six years. The signing was witnessed by many who are opponents of the death penalty including the first person to escape the death penalty by DNA testing, Kirk Bloodworth.

Maryland’s last execution was in 2005. However, there are currently five men condemned to the death penalty. The legislation does do not go in effect until October 1st. The five men are not affected by this decision but O’Malley says he will consider commutation for them but in individual cases. "The notice shall be considered withdrawn and it shall be considered a notice to seek a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under specified circumstances," according to a press release from the office of Governor Martin O'Malley.

"Maryland has effectively eliminated a policy that is proven not to work. Evidence shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it cannot be administered without racial bias, and it costs three times as much as life in prison without parole," the office said in a statement.
"Furthermore, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death. Working together with law enforcement partners, Maryland has driven down violent crime and homicides to three decade lows."

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