Maryland Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, March 25, 2008, 12:18:41 AM

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JTiscool


"Del. Neil C. Parrott, a Washington County Republican, said Monday he rejects the idea of repeal. "The death penalty's a tool that has to be in the toolbox," Parrott said. He said prosecutors use it to negotiate with defendants to get them to accept plea bargains with sentences of life without parole."


Precisely.....

I like that the public can challenge a repeal & put it to vote though.....  ???


Just like California, right?
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.

Angelstorm


ggbop

By John Wagner, Mar 06, 2013 04:57 PM EST

The Washington Post Published: March 6
The Maryland Senate voted to repeal the death penalty Wednesday after four days of emotional debate, moving the state closer to becoming the sixth in as many years to abolish executions.

The 27 to 20 vote was widely seen as a key step in ending capital punishment in Maryland, which has not executed a death-row prisoner since 2005. The legislation now goes before the House of Delegates, where a vote could come as early as next week.

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Weigh InCorrections?Recommend Tweet Personal Post How the Maryland Senate voted on repealing the death penalty
John Wagner MAR 6

25 Democrats and two Republicans supported the measure, while 10 members of both parties opposed it.

Maryland politics

Staying open in Prince George's when others in the region shut down
Miranda S. Spivack MAR 6

County official offers window into the thinking behind the decision to keep Prince George's government open.

How the Maryland Senate voted on repealing the death penalty
John Wagner MAR 6

25 Democrats and two Republicans supported the measure, while 10 members of both parties opposed it.

Maryland Senate approves repeal of death penalty

John Wagner MAR 6

The legislation sponsored by Gov. Martin O'Malley moves next to the House of Delegates.

More news about Md. politics

.The House is expected to approve the measure, handing Gov. Martin O'Malley a long-sought legislative victory at a time when he is weighing a run for national office in 2016.

"It's time to end this ineffective and expensive practice and put our efforts behind crime fighting strategies that work," O'Malley (D) said in a statement.

Shari Silberstein, executive ­director of Equal Justice USA, a group that is working to end the death penalty, said that Maryland's action is part of a national trend and that she envisions another half-dozen states adopting the policy in the next several years.

"Just a few years ago, you wouldn't have had a governor with national ambitions making this a banner issue," Silberstein said. "It's no longer the 'third rail' of politics. Voters don't punish people at the polls for being anti-death penalty."

Wednesday's debate underscored the internal struggles for many senators.

Sen. Victor R. Ramirez (D-Prince George's), a supporter of the bill, cited statistics showing that Maryland has been more likely to impose the death penalty in cases with black assailants and white victims.

"We have a broken system here in Maryland," he said. "If we can't fix it, we need to get rid of it."

Repeal opponents countered that the death penalty can be an important law enforcement tool and should be kept on the books for heinous cases, several of which were recounted in graphic detail during the debate.

"That ultimate punishment still needs to be available," Sen. Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington) argued to colleagues. "We are talking about crimes against humanity."

While the death penalty remains on the books in 33 states, many are using it more sparingly than in the past. Last year, 77 people were sentenced to death nationally, the second-lowest number since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-Baltimore), a champion of the repeal legislation in Maryland, said he is confident supporters have the votes to prevail in the House. O'Malley's bill was introduced in January with 67 House co-sponsors, or four delegates shy of a majority. The bill also has the backing of House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel).

Maryland voters, however, could have the final say on the issue. If the measure passes, opponents have vowed to make use of a provision in the state's constitution that allows people to petition recently passed laws to the ballot, as happened with same-sex marriage last year. The outcome of a death penalty referendum would be far from certain.

A Washington Post poll released last week showed that a majority of Marylanders want to keep the death penalty despite statewide skepticism as to whether capital punishment is a deterrent to murder or is applied fairly.

The bill would replace death sentences with life terms in prison without the possibility of parole. It would not affect the five inmates now on death row, leaving it to the governor to determine whether to commute their sentences.

Recommend Tweet Personal Post How the Maryland Senate voted on repealing the death penalty
John Wagner MAR 6

25 Democrats and two Republicans supported the measure, while 10 members of both parties opposed it.

Maryland politics

Staying open in Prince George's when others in the region shut down
Miranda S. Spivack MAR 6

County official offers window into the thinking behind the decision to keep Prince George's government open.

How the Maryland Senate voted on repealing the death penalty
John Wagner MAR 6

25 Democrats and two Republicans supported the measure, while 10 members of both parties opposed it.

Maryland Senate approves repeal of death penalty

John Wagner MAR 6

The legislation sponsored by Gov. Martin O'Malley moves next to the House of Delegates.

More news about Md. politics

.O'Malley has advocated for repeal of capital punishment since taking office in 2007. Prior to this year, he last sponsored a bill for that purpose in 2009. That measure was rejected by the Senate, with members choosing instead to tighten evidentiary standards in capital cases.

Since then, several new senators have been elected, and a couple of members have changed their positions, creating a majority of Senate supporters for the first time. The NAACP and the Catholic Church have made repeal of Maryland's death penalty a priority this year as well.

"A lot of different things have come into play here, including the governor making a very strong push," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), a death penalty supporter.

Several senators on both sides said they remain conflicted.

"I'm jealous of all of you who have these firm beliefs on this, because I don't," said Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), who voted for repeal. Zirkin said he had no moral qualms with seeing "horrible monsters" put to death, but he said one nagging thought pushed him to the supporters' column.

"We could execute an innocent person, and that weighs on my conscience too heavily not to cast a green vote," he said.

Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery), who shepherded the bill in the Senate, also credited family members of murder victims who lobbied lawmakers to oppose capital punishment. They have argued that the death penalty does not bring closure.

During the Senate debate, both sides sought to bolster their arguments with some of Maryland's most prominent murder cases.

Opponents of the bill recounted the killing of Sarah Foxwell, an 11-year-old who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and slain on the Eastern Shore in 2009.

Her killer "poured gasoline in her mouth, and he burned the body," Sen. Richard F. Colburn (R-Dorchester) said as he called on his colleagues to "kill this bill."

Supporters countered with repeated references to Kirk Bloodsworth, a former death-row inmate who was exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison in 1993. Bloodsworth, a former Marine convicted of raping and murdering a 9-year-old girl in Baltimore County in 1984, watched much of the debate from the Senate gallery.

The state has had an effective moratorium on capital punishment since December 2006, the month before O'Malley took office, when Maryland's highest court ruled that regulations on lethal injection had not been properly adopted.

The O'Malley administration has yet to implement new regulations, and the shortage of a drug prescribed in Maryland for executions could complicate efforts of any future governor to resume executions.

Some opponents of the repeal criticized O'Malley for failing to move forward during the past several years. "It's hard to say something doesn't work if you don't use it," Colburn argued.

Two Republicans joined 25 Democrats in the Senate to vote for the repeal Wednesday. The measure was opposed by 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

https://ssl.washingtonpost.com/actmgmt/registration/login/long?appnid=local&destination=http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/death-penalty-repeal-approved-by-maryland-senate/2013/03/06/368ef95a-8663-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_story.html
Genesis 9:6
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. "

JTiscool

Well, this isn't good.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.

turboprinz

Maryland General Assembly votes to abolish the death penalty
Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 12:45 pm | Updated: 12:21 am, Sat Mar 16, 2013.

Maryland is set to become the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.

The House of Delegates voted 82-56 on Friday to pass Gov. Martin O'Malley's death penalty repeal bill, Senate Bill 276.

The bill, which passed last week in the Senate, now heads to the governor's desk. Under its terms, the most severe punishment in the state will be life without parole.

After nearly two hours of spirited debate, a majority of the state's delegates voted to make Maryland the first state below the Mason-Dixon line to repeal the death penalty. Five Anne Arundel County delegates voted for a repeal, while nine voted against O'Malley's bill.

Afterwards, O'Malley thanked those who helped along the way at a press conference. Repealing the death penalty was one of O'Malley's most high-profile goals for this year's 90-day session.

"With today's vote to repeal the death penalty in Maryland, the General Assembly is eliminating a policy that is proven not to work," O'Malley said.

With the governor's signature, Maryland will be the sixth state in six years to repeal the death penalty.

The state's last execution took place in 2005. Capital punishment was put on hold in Maryland after a December 2006 ruling by Maryland's highest court that the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee. The committee, whose co-chairs oppose capital punishment, has yet to sign off on protocols.

Supporters of the bill continued to argue the death penalty is costly and ineffective. They said it has been used only five times since it was reinstated in the 1970s, and not at all since 2005.

Del. Heather Mizeur, D-Montgomery, said it wasn't the state's place to put people to death.

"By willfully taking a human life, the state enacts the worst of human impulses," Mizeur said.

Opponents argued the death penalty is a necessary deterrent, and abolishing it will put correctional officers and others in state prisons at risk.

While the majority of Democrats supported the death penalty's repeal, some strayed from that stance.

Del. Ted Sophocleus, D-Linthicum, recalled mopping blood from the floor of his drugstore after a murder in the 1980s. As his position strayed from many in his party, Sophocleus said "you're not going to make me feel guilty," for wanting to keep the death penalty.

Del. C.T. Wilson, D-Charles, a former prosecutor and U.S. Army veteran, cried once more for delegates to keep the death penalty.

"The death penalty is not a deterrent," Wilson said. "It is justice."

After the vote, repeal supporters rejoiced outside of the House chamber. Kirk Bloodsworth, who was exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison in 1993 after spending nearly 10 years on death row, shared hugs with many.

Sen. Jamie Raskin credited Bloodsworth for being a "living reminder to every Marylander that the death penalty doesn't work."

Others credited with helping the repeal pass were groups like the NAACP and Maryland Citizens Against State Executions.

NAACP President Ben Jealous said a repeal in Maryland brought America one step closer to repealing the death penalty nationwide.

Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, called Friday a "historic day for Maryland."

"Maryland's death penalty system is broken beyond repair," Henderson said. "The General Assembly has taken a smart step forward that will allow us to use our criminal justice resources more effectively."

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/government/maryland-general-assembly-votes-to-abolish-the-death-penalty/article_29355beb-844f-51f2-bda4-4758dce4e1d2.html
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

fangtasia0413

If it works for them, then I am certainly not going to jeer the Governor unless there is a mass of CO deaths.  This is not like California which is populated with a San Quentin full of serial killers and other scumbags that needs cleared out.  Besides, even with abolition, Maryland still has a more prolific post-Furman record than PA does!
I'm a Bill Maher style liberal.  I believe in the death penalty for those who really deserve it, assisted suicide, pro choice, and the legalization of certain drugs.

"I don't know what it is about me that makes people think I want to hear their problems. Maybe I smile too much. Maybe I wear too much pink. But please remember I can rip your throat out if I need to."-Pamela de Beaufort-True Blood

JTiscool

That is certainly unfortunate. There's a pending case involving a lifer charged with the murder of a C.O. They may as well not have a trial for that murder, now.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.

turboprinz

Death row inmate dies in Md. prison
Apr 28, 2014

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - Maryland corrections officials say a death row inmate has died, apparently of natural causes.

Corrections spokesman Mark Vernarelli says 60-year-old John Booth-El died Sunday after staff found him unresponsive in his cell at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland. As first reported by The Baltimore Sun, Vernarelli says Booth-El was pronounced dead a short time later despite attempts to revive him.

He says Booth-El's death appears to be from natural causes, but a state medical examiner autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

Booth-El was sentenced to death for the 1983 murders of Irvin and Rose Bronstein. He was one of five death row inmates in Maryland, which has had a de facto death penalty moratorium since a 2006 ruling by the state's highest court.

http://www.abc27.com/story/25356788/death-row-inmate-dies-in-md-prison
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

phlebbb

Maryland governor Martin O'Malley will commute the sentences of four death-row inmates to life sentences without parole.

The state abolished capital punishment in 2013 leaving the five on death row. One of them, John Booth-El died in prison earlier in 2014.

The governor said he had met or spoken with many of the relatives of the people killed by the inmates. Some victim family members were upset with the governor's decision.

O'Malley said that if he didn't commute the sentences the legal process would "needlessly and callously subject survivors, and the people of Maryland, to the ordeal of an endless appeals process, with unpredictable twists and turns, and without any hope of finality or closure."

None of the executions was imminent because the state didn't have a procedure to carry one out.

O'Malley, who is considering running for president in 2016, will leave office next month after two terms, the limit in Maryland. The governor is a Catholic and longtime opponent of capital punishment.

"We would like to thank Gov. O'Malley for taking what was a tough and courageous moral decision," Gary Proctor, one of the attorneys for death-row inmate Heath Burch, said in a statement. "It was indeed time that Maryland's machinery of death was consigned to the history books."

Mary Frances Moore, whose father and stepmother were stabbed to death in 1995, said she was "devastated" by the governor's decision.

"I think he was hoping I would give him the OK on it, to give him life without parole, and I didn't give him that," Moore, 71, said Wednesday.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger, a death penalty supporter, criticized the governor's move. Two death-row inmates, Anthony Grandison and Vernon Evans, were convicted in the 1983 contract killing in Baltimore County of two witnesses who were scheduled to testify against Grandison in a federal drug case.

"Death was the decision of the jury. These sentences were lawfully imposed and upheld numerous times on appeal," Shellenberger said in a statement. "The governor should not be using his last days in office to show any mercy to these cold, calculating killers."

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican who takes office Jan. 21, said he wasn't going to second-guess the decision.

"There is only one governor at a time, and I'm not in a place to second-guess what is probably one of the most difficult decisions a governor may have to make," Hogan said in a statement.

Only five Maryland inmates were executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978. The last execution was in 2005 under Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

This is not really a big surprise, as outgoing Gov.Malloy, was never in favor of Capital Punishment.The 4 pendejos
whose sentence Governor Malloy commuted, just hit the Death Row jackpot. They will die in prison,but, a long time from now.....
People that think they know it all, annoy the hell out us who actually do ...

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