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O'Malley, NAACP Call to End Maryland's Death Penalty

The governor called the death penalty expensive and ineffective.

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced his plans to "kill the death penalty" inside a crowded room at the Miller Senate Building in Annapolis on Tuesday.

"It would seem to me that in—especially in—tough times, if there's something that we're doing in our government that is expensive and does not work, then we should stop doing it," O'Malley said. "The death penalty is expensive, and it does not work. And for that reason alone I believe we should stop doing it."

Maryland has a moratorium on executions, and the state last executed a person in 2005. O'Malley pointed to a decrease in violent crime in the seven years since as evidence that life without the possible of parole could be effective as a maximum penalty.

"Good people on both sides of this issue have in the past disagreed about the effectiveness of the death penalty," O'Malley said "I think there is increasingly less disagreement about its effectiveness, especially within our state."

He also took a pragmatic approach to the issue noting that the prosecution of a death penalty case costs the taxpayers of Maryland three times as much as the prosecution of a case where the penalty is life without parole.

NAACP president Benjamin Jealous viewed Maryland's potential shift on the death penalty in the context of what he views as an upcoming argument for the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Abolishing the death penalty in Maryland, replacing it with the possibility of life without parole, moves us closer to being able to abolish it in the nation as whole," Jealous said. "It is only through abolishing it here ... that we can approach the point where we will be able to go into the Supreme Court and say finally that majority of states have ended this practice and therefore it is no longer merely cruel it is also unusual and therefore should be banned under the 8th Amendment to the constitution."

Del. Aisha Braveboy (D-Mitchellville), who chairs the state's black caucus, promised that "if [a bill] gets to the floor, we will pass it."

But Del. Nic Kipke (R-Pasadena), who chairs Anne Arundel County's delegation, seemed less certain.

"It won't pass," Kipke said. "Practically speaking, Maryland doesn't use the death penalty now ... all of these things you are seeing from the governor’s office are not about the quality of life in Maryland, they are about him running for president."

The key vote in the Senate for a repeal of the death penalty may come from another Anne Arundel County legislator.

Sen. Ed Reilly (R-Crofton) replaced Sen. Janet Greenip (R-Crofton), who was in favor of the death penalty. According to The Capital Gazette, Reilly plans to vote for the ban because he believes executions are immoral.

Dudley Sharp January 21, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Lies, ignorance or idiocy: Gov. O'Malley's Speech on Repealing Capital Punishment in Maryland (1) To govern is, we hope, to be knowledgeable about what our leaders speak and to lead with truth. Gov. O'Malley fails those standards. The Gov. stated: " . . . ."for every 8.7 Americans sent to death row, there has been one innocent person exonerated." Laughably absurd. If we go by the most fraudulent of anti death penalty claims, wherein they claim 142 have been exonerated from death row during the post 1972 period when 8200 have been sent to death row, that is 1 out of 57.7. Or reality. Possibly we have sent 40 actual innocents to death row, which is 1 innocent sent to death row out of every 205 so sentenced. All have been released. 1 out of 205. The governor was off by 2356%. contd
Dudley Sharp January 21, 2013 at 03:23 PM
contd 1 Not surprisingly, the Governor claims he get his figures from the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment - the Commission appointed by . . . Gov. O'Malley. Those in Maryland know, as do we all, that living murderers harm and murder, again. Executed ones do not. Nationally, since 1973, at least 14,000 additional innocents have been murdered by those murderers the government has allowed to murder, again -- recidivist murderers. Again, nationally, since 1973, depending upon review, we have allowed an additional 40,000-200,000 innocents to be murdered by those criminals the government has released on parole or probation or other early release policies, while many or most of those criminals were under government supervision. In reality, contrary to what the Governor says, we don't know the cost differences between the death penalty and life without parole in Maryland. The costs the Governor mentions do not reflect an accurate, apples to apples comparison, as Marylanders deserve. More responsible governance Since 1976, Virginia has executed 72% (108) of those sentenced to death and did so within 7.1 years after sentencing, on average -- a responsible and cost savings protocol, which could be implemented in Maryland, if both justice and taxpayer funds were more respected and if the Governor and other anti death penalty leaders had not been constant obstructionists to responsible reforms. contd
Dudley Sharp January 21, 2013 at 03:23 PM
contd 2 Of course the death penalty deters. All prospects of a negative consequence deter some. It is a truism. Even some anti death penalty leadership are honest enough to concede that the death penalty deters. The only outstanding question, is: "Does the death penalty deter more than life without parole?". The anecdotal evidence says that it does. Not surprisingly, the Governor believes that death penalty deterrence is measured by murder rates. It isn't. It is as ridiculous as the Governor saying no laws deter anybody if there is a high crime rate. The reality is that all laws and sanctions, as all negative consequences, deter some, whether high crime rates or low. But, lets follow the Governor's misguided thinking. The United States has had double digit executions, annually, from 1984 - 2011. Murders are, now, at a 43 year low. Murder rates are, now, at a 48 year low. Double digit annual executions stopped in the US in 1964 and resumed in 1984. During that period, murders increased by 100%. contd
Dudley Sharp January 21, 2013 at 03:24 PM
contd 3 Governor, the death penalty and race realities in Maryland are this: "There is no race of the offender / victim effect at either the decision to advance a case to penalty hearing or the decision to sentence a defendant to death given a penalty hearing." No governor, 141 countries have not abolished capital punishment. Countries retaining the death penalty are 101; those without 96. The death penalty has the same foundation as do all legal sanctions: JUSTICE. Truth is important, as well. (1) "Repealing Capital Punishment in Maryland", Office of Governor Martin O'Malley, January 15th, 2013 http://www.governor.maryland.gov/blog/?p=7999
RVN6768 January 23, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Nice job, Dudley. The libs swithc their platform from homeless to global warming, to captial punsihment etc.

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