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In a late night vote last night, the Judicial Proceedings Committee of the Maryland Senate voted 6 to 5 to repeal Maryland's death penalty.   This means that the bill will go to the full Senate.  According to The Washington Post, the bill is likely to pass the Senate because there are now

26 senators who are either co-sponsoring the repeal bill or who have said in interviews that they plan to support it. That’s two more than are required to pass bills on the Senate floor.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/....

According to that same article in The Washington Post, the Maryland House of Delegates is also likely to pass the bill.

If the Bill is sent to the Governor, Governor O'Malley will sign it since he has long supported repealing the death penalty.  In fact, Governor O'Malley testified at the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 14, 2013 in support of repealing the death penalty.  In his testimony, Governor O'Malley testified that the death penalty does not work, that it is not an effective use of our tax dollars and that it is not consistent with our values.  In stating why the death penalty is not consistent with our values, Governor O'Malley testified:

Finally, across our ever-more-closely connected world, the majority of public executions now take place in just seven countries: Iran. Iraq. The People’s Republic of China. North Korea. Saudi Arabia. Yemen. And the United States of America.

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, our free and diverse Republic was not founded on fear, or on revenge, or on retribution.  Freedom, justice, the dignity of every individual, equal rights before the law – these are the principals that define our character.  They are the treasures of our great nation, and the death penalty is inconsistent with these principles.

http://www.governor.maryland.gov/...

Governor O'Malley also testified in support of repealing the death penalty in 2009.  In that testimony, Governor O'Malley stated:

It is our time in Maryland for a deeper public dialogue on the question of what kind of society we want to be.  What kind of society we hope to leave for our children.  What kind of society we are choosing to build for our families, for our communities, and for future generations. It is time to ask whether public executions – even of the guilty – are consistent with the future we prefer for our children’s world.

Our free and diverse republic was founded not on fear and retribution – it was born from higher things; rooted in unalienable rights endowed by our Creator.  Freedom, justice, the dignity of the individual, equal rights before the law – these are the principals that define our character as a people.  And so we must ask ourselves: are these principles compatible with the “civil” taking of human life?  Are these principles compatible with the very real risk of erroneously taking the life of an innocent neighbor?

http://www.governor.maryland.gov/...

In 2009, the majority of the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted against repealing the death penalty.  The vote this year in favor of repeal by that committee means that the repeal of the death penalty is likely in Maryland this year.  

Originally posted to night cat on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am glad that Governor O'Malley has really (7+ / 0-)

    advocated for repeal.  

  •  Excellent news! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave, mindara, Lujane

    Thanks for the diary, night cat.

  •  Go O'Malley! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, mindara, Lujane

    He has always been for repeal! The truth is Maryland has not utilized the death penalty in awhile. It is time for repeal.

    I just love him. He believes in the future not looking back to the bad old times.

    Thanks for this diary, I have been tracking this one for many years!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:36:16 PM PST

    •  He's been an outstanding governor! And he's not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      done yet!

      "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

      by mindara on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:02:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  wiki info (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      The last execution was 2005 which in relation to the death penalty I wouldn't call 'a while'.  Several states have only executed people that 'requested' it since it was relegalized[and of course some have outright banned it or executed none since relegalization], and most not named Texas have gone longer than since 2005 without executing someone.

      Apparently though in Maryland they have been unable to perform executions since 2006 on a legal technicality.

      •  On the technicality that it was felt to be (0+ / 0-)

        cruel. On the last one performed apparantly the convicted did not die quickly but in great pain and it was witnessed.

        After that Governor Glendenning put a moratorium on executions while the effects of the drugs used were evaluated. It has stayed that way since. Gov. Bob Ehrlich wanted to re-start it (typical rethug) but there was no support in the legislature.

        Governor O'Malley came in and began trying to repeal it right away. And so here we are!

        In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

        by vcmvo2 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:09:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm really beginning to believe that this is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    night cat, Lujane

    really going to happen! Abolishing the death penalty is long past due, the sheer barbarity of state sanctioned pre meditated murder is (coupled with states like Virginia, Texas and Georgia who routinely perform executions with such a perverse sense of pride and even glee) is but one of the many sources of the sickness ofthe culture of violence that permeates throughout our country.

    I am a family member of a murder victim and while I can absolutely emphasize with the rage and desire to seek venegance against someone who has brutally taken the life of someone you love because I have been there, I am fiercely opposed to the death penalty. My cousin's murderer was incarcerated in Cumberland for almost 34 years, since the day after he murdered my cousin. Last May I received notification from the Victim's Information Network Exchange that he had finally died of natural causes. He didn't die an easy death, he had suffered at least one heart attack and had at least 2 bouts of cancer, which was what i believe finally killed him. Medical care in prison is bare minimum and he died utterly alone in a prison infirmary. I am at peace with that. I refused to allow his evil to cause me to sacrifice even a portion of my own humanity. And winning that battle within myself was how I truly honored my cousin's life. He would have expected nothing less from me.

    Thank you, Governor O'Malley, for restoring that humanity back to our state.

    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

    by mindara on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:00:27 PM PST

    •  Thank you for your voice on this issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, mindara

      A lot of people assume that the families of the murder victim support the death penalty.  Thank you for showing them that there is another way.  

      •  It's a very presumptuous opinion of those who (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        night cat

        are pro death penalty and use the families of murder victim's to defend their position especially when they have never walked in our shoes...I have yet to meet any family member who has felt any sense of peace or relief after an execution...the overwhelming response is just emptiness and despair they didn't expect to feel. But when you are in the rage stage of the grieving process, which lasts a very long time, you are not capable of really wanting anything other than venegance. It takes a long time to move beyond that and to try to reclaim your humanity.

        And beyond the morality issue, there is the very real issue of the vast inequity of our criminal justice system and the reality that innocent people have been executed with virtually no evidence of guilt beyond flawed eyewitness testimony or because they gave false confessions. The evidence in my cousin's murder, even in 1978 before DNA, was so overwhelming that we knew this man was guilty beyond any shadow of a doubt. There are far too many families who don't have that kind of proof but they are desperate to believe the police and the prosecuter's because the alternative, their loved one's real murderer, is still free, is unbearable to them.

        "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

        by mindara on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:32:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  md has no real death penalty (0+ / 0-)

    I do not believe that any prosecutor has asked for the death penalty in MD for over a decade.We have 5 people on death row and I think the only execution we may have had since 2000 was some guy that dropped all appeals and demanded to be killed.
    My son is a correction officer in Md and says he has some guys that have been in prison over 50 years. Life without parole works. Also I think the DP is on hold anyway because of court challenges.
    Some states like having the DP on the books knowing they will never use it. Just end it.

  •  95% murder victim's families support death penalty (0+ / 0-)

    Victims' Families for Death Penalty Repeal: More Hurt For Victims:

    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/...

  •  THE DEATH PENALTY: SAVING MORE INNOCENT LIVES (0+ / 0-)

    Of all endeavors that put innocents at risk, is there one with a better record of sparing and saving more innocent lives than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

    1) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/...

    2) Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/...

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