Maryland to Eliminate the Death Penalty

Maryland to Eliminate the Death Penalty March 20, 2013

Maryland is poised to become the 18th state to outlaw the death penalty after the state legislature voted by a strong margin to do so. The governor says he will sign the bill, which would commute the sentences of those on death row to life in prison without parole.

Maryland’s General Assembly on Friday completed its repeal of the death penalty, nearly 40 years after the U.S. Supreme Court restored capital punishment.

The House of Delegates’ 82-56 vote followed Senate approval last week.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who proposed the repeal, will sign the measure into law next month, his office said Friday afternoon. That will make Maryland the 18th state to overturn capital punishment since it was reintroduced in 1976…

The governor, who pushed the repeal since taking office in 2007, said the General Assembly’s action ended 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,” he said. “What’s more, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death.”

Exactly right. Bravo, Maryland.

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