Maryland Death Penalty News

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

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ScoopD (aka: Pam)

ANNAPOLIS -- The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment is scheduled to meet to discuss draft recommendations on what they will be submitting to the General Assembly.

The panel, which will meet today, is due to send recommendations to lawmakers by Dec. 15, so they have about a month to go.

The commission was set up to study a variety of issues relating to capital punishment in the state, including cost and jurisdictional disparities.

There is a de facto moratorium against capital punishment in Maryland because of a ruling in late 2006 by the state's highest court.

The court ruled the state's protocol for lethal injection was implemented without proper approval by a legislative committee. Executions can't resume until Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration submits new rules for the committee to approve.
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.

JT

Oh dear, Maryland...

Quote
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP) -- A Maryland commission voted Wednesday to recommend abolishing the death penalty in the state, citing jurisdictional and racial disparities in how it is used and the possibility that an innocent person could one day be executed by mistake.

The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment voted 13-7 to make the recommendation in its report to lawmakers and the governor next month.

Death-penalty opponents hope the commission's vote will sway lawmakers toward repeal. Repeal efforts failed last year in a tight Senate committee vote and were put on hold this year until the commission could do its work.

The commission's vote came after the failure of a proposed compromise to keep the death penalty for a prison inmate serving life or life without possibility of parole who kills another inmate or a correctional officer or someone who kills a police officer.

Benjamin Civiletti, a former U.S. attorney general who chairs the commission, said he doesn't have a fixed view on the morality of the death penalty. However, he said he opposes it for pragmatic reasons, such as the cost, the potential for an innocent person to be executed and jurisdictional disparities.

"It's haphazard in how it's applied, and that's terribly unfair," Mr. Civiletti said.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Schellenberger, a commission member who supports the death penalty, said he would author a minority report.

"It will be simple and direct and to the point," Mr. Schellenberger said. "I believe, and obviously six other commissioners believe, that the death penalty is still an important and viable option here in the state of Maryland."

The commission also voted on several findings that it will submit in its report, which is due Dec. 15.

Panel members decided that there's "a real possibility" an innocent person could someday be executed in Maryland.

Mr. Schellenberger argued against the language, saying it makes the possibility sound greater than it is. He also said there was no evidence that an innocent person has ever been executed in Maryland or is currently on death row.

"Not one person came in and offered one shred of evidence to that effect," Mr. Schellenberger said, citing testimony the commission has heard over several months.

But Kirk Bloodsworth, another commission member who once was on death row for a murder he didn't commit, said his colleagues didn't need to look any further than him to see that it's possible for an innocent person to end up on death row.

"In 1985, I went to death row for two years," Mr. Bloodsworth said. "Now, if that's not real, I don't know what is." He was ultimately cleared by DNA evidence.

The panel also found that there was no persuasive evidence the death penalty deters homicides in Maryland.

The commission was created in the last legislative session to address several concerns, including racial, jurisdictional and socio-economic issues in the death penalty.

There is a de facto moratorium against capital punishment in Maryland because of a ruling in late 2006 by the state's highest court.

The Court of Appeals found that the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee. Executions can't resume until a new protocol is created for the committee to approve.


This is a total scam, anyway.  That anti-death penalty political hack, Gov. O'Malley, stacked the odds against the death penalty remaining in Maryland by filling the Panel with death penalty opponents.

What a load of horseshit...
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.

JT

Another load of horseshit:

Quote
Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that he will do "everything in my power" to abolish the death penalty in Maryland this year and for the first time raised the possibility of allowing voters to decide the divisive issue through a constitutional amendment if legislative repeal efforts fail again.

"It's an issue with grave moral implications, certainly equal to the slots legislation," O'Malley said, referring to the casino gambling referendum that was approved by voters last year. "Maybe that's the way to go."

The governor, a Democrat, said he intends to sponsor a bill to repeal capital punishment, which would put more of his political capital behind the issue. A longtime death penalty opponent, the governor has testified in favor of repeal legislation, but he has never offered his own initiative. His effort comes a month after a gubernatorial commission voted to recommend abolishing capital punishment and issued a report outlining what it saw as fatal flaws in the application of the death penalty.

Some lawmakers and death penalty opponents said the administration's sponsorship could be enough to move a bill out of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, where identical efforts have failed the past two years. Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a Baltimore Democrat who has sponsored those bills, said she was pleased when the governor told her Wednesday that repeal of the death penalty would be part of his administration's legislative package.

"Having the governor's power and authority behind it is really going to make a difference," she said. In 2007, Gladden's bill died on a 5-5 vote in the committee, of which she is vice chairman. Last year, the bill went nowhere as lawmakers chose instead to establish the study commission. There's no indication any committee members have changed positions, so O'Malley and death penalty opponents have hinted they might consider other ways to move legislation forward.

One possibility is a procedural vote to bring the legislation to the floor for a full House and Senate vote, removing the bill from the Senate committee where it has been bottled up in the past. Such a tactic is considered bad form in Annapolis, and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller warned against such a maneuver yesterday, saying he advised O'Malley at a breakfast meeting to find another way.

"I encouraged him to work with the members of the committee," Miller said.

Miller, who supports the death penalty, said he told the governor that he would vote to send the issue to referendum through a constitutional amendment.

Even if a repeal passes, the issue might go to referendum anyway. In Maryland, citizens can attempt to overturn acts of the General Assembly by gathering enough signatures for a ballot question. But other lawmakers -- and some death penalty activists -- questioned the idea of a constitutional amendment.

"I think [legislators] should face this straight on and do their job," said Jane Henderson, director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions. "They're the ones who gave Maryland capital punishment, and they're the ones who should take it away."

Sen. Bryan W. Simonaire, an Anne Arundel County Republican who voted against the repeal bill last year in committee, said a referendum "would not necessarily be fair." Pointing to slots, he said one side of the issue spent far more money on advertising than the other, possibly skewing the votes.

"I would really, really have to think about that," he said of a referendum. He also said O'Malley's sponsorship this year "certainly validates that it's an important issue for Maryland."

Simonaire said he is still studying the issue and would vote his conscience, even if it means the full Senate would never get to vote on the death penalty. Sen. Alex X. Mooney, a Frederick County Republican who has said his Roman Catholic faith gives him doubts about capital punishment, was the key vote against the 2007 repeal bill but pledged yesterday to keep an open mind as he reads the governor's death penalty commission report and listens to witnesses at the committee hearing, which has not been scheduled.

But he said that concern about the way the death penalty is applied, "doesn't mean you throw it out altogether" and that he favors executions in some circumstances.

The commission, led by former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti, cited the possibility of executing an innocent person, huge financial costs, and racial and regional biases as compelling reasons to eliminate capital punishment.

Scott D. Shellenberger, a commission member and Baltimore County state's attorney, wrote a dissenting opinion, signed by seven other members. He said prosecutors must be able to "reflect the will of the people."

A Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies poll showed that 53 percent of Marylanders favor the death penalty.

Since Maryland reinstated capital punishment in 1978, five men have been put to death, most recently Wesley Eugene Baker on Dec. 5, 2005. Five others are on death row, including three men convicted in 1984. State executions have been under an effective moratorium since December 2006, when Maryland's highest court ruled that lethal injection regulations had not been properly adopted. The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is still revising the protocols.

Death penalty opponents believe this is the year for a repeal. A lobbyist for the Maryland Catholic Conference vowed he would not "pull any punches. We're going to pull out all the stops."

And Henderson's organization, a coalition of antideath penalty groups, recently hired D. Robert Enten and Timothy A. Perry to support other lobbyists they already have in place. Enten is a longtime fixture in the State House and one of the highest-paid lobbyists in Annapolis; Perry is a former chief of staff to Miller.

Gladden has said "the real challenge to the bill is Mike Miller," though the Senate president has insisted that he would not lobby on the bill or interfere with the legislative process. She said that if the repeal effort makes it out of committee, it would likely face another tough battle on the Senate floor, where it could be filibustered. On the House side, it appears there are enough votes to get it out of committee and passed on the floor.

Henderson said Civiletti and O'Malley would be "great champions" of repeal efforts.

"I think the governor will be able to influence some of the members in the Senate still weighing what they're going to do," she said. "This shows that they have the confidence that it can move through the General Assembly. The governor doesn't put bills in to lose."


(Source: Baltimore Sun)


Who does this fuckstick think he is comparing the morality of the death penalty to slot-machine gambling?

I think a referendum might actually be a good idea.  On the Baltimore Sun's article (linked above), there is currently a poll running which asks, "Do you agree with Gov. Martin O'Malley that it's time to end the death penalty in Maryland?"  Of the current 872 respondents, 191 (21.9%) favour abolition and 663 (76.0%) favour retention, with the remaining 18 (2.1%) voting Not Sure.  If such a result were to be repeated in a referendum vote, it would permanently kill any of Gov. O'Malley's aspirations of being responsible for abolishing the death penalty in Maryland.

Maybe Maryland is more conservative than I first thought...
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.

Jeff1857

I have always said that especially when New Jersey's governor was doing his business. I certainly would not have a problem IF the voters decided for repeal. For one person to go on a crusade AGAINST the will of the people is just simply not right. IF New Jersey voters would have had the opportunity that state would still have the DP as well.

Jeff1857

A Maryland Senate committee narrowly voted today to reject Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty, but the measure will likely be debated by the full Senate next week under a rare procedural move.

The vote by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee was seen as a setback for O'Malley (D), though repeal supporters said they remain hopeful that the bill's fate will be different when all 47 members of the Senate are given a chance to weigh in.

"I think the prospects are pretty strong," said Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, offering a forecast at odds with that of the powerful Senate president, who has predicted the bill will not pass.

The committee voted 5 to 5 today on a motion to send the repeal bill to the floor with a favorable report. That was one vote shy of a majority vote needed from the 11-member committee, one of whose members was absent today.

Normally, such a vote would effectively kill legislation. But as a courtesy to O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) repeated today that he would allow some debate on the Senate floor next week.


That debate is likely to come on a motion to replace the committee's "unfavorable" recommendation with a "favorable" recommendation. The motion would need the support of a majority of the chamber's members, or 24 senators. Even if the bill crosses that procedural hurdle, it could face a filibuster, further complicating passage.

Arguments prior to the committee vote were familiar on an issue that has been hotly debated in Annapolis since O'Malley took office in 2007. The governor has made abolishing capital punishment a priority this year.

Repeal supporters argued that the death penalty is not a deterrent to violent crime, is costly and risks taking an innocent life. Opponents raised the specter of a prisoner, already serving a life sentence, who repeatedly kills others in prison with abandon.

That prospect "keeps haunting me," said Sen. Norman Stone (D-Baltimore County). "He or she can become the designated killer in prison."

The committee also rejected an amendment that would allow the death penalty to be imposed only in the cases of people who kill in prison.

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In the last few days I have read this governor has went to churches stating God will help him abolish the DP in Maryland and was out leading marches with the Anti clan. I don't think this is appropriate for a governor trying to override the will of the people. If he truly wants to abollish it why not have it put on the ballot and let the people of the state of Maryland decide if they want it or not. Why doesn't he do that? Well he would lose of course.  ;)

Michael

Senators turn away repeal of death penalty in Md.
Lawmakers vote instead to restrict when capital punishment can be used

Baltimore County senators rebuffed an effort to abolish Maryland's death penalty yesterday, persuading lawmakers instead to restrict when capital punishment can be used.

The Senate's first full debate on the death penalty in more than three decades was cut short when amendments stripped the word repeal out of a repeal initiative, prompting confusion on the floor. Exasperated senators rose one after another to say that they weren't sure what they were voting on.

"What we are getting is a real mess," said Sen. Delores G. Kelley, a Baltimore County Democrat. Added Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, a Baltimore Democrat and a senator for 14 years: "Very obviously, this is not one of the high points in the Senate."

Debate was to resume this morning. There is a pile of amendments for senators to sort through, followed by a preliminary vote on the amended plan.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller had predicted such disorder. Earlier in the day, death penalty opponents used a rare procedural move to resurrect repeal legislation even though a Senate committee had killed the measure last week. Miller, a death penalty supporter who typically keeps tight control over the Senate, said he allowed the unusual maneuver as a courtesy to Gov. Martin O'Malley, a fellow Democrat who wants repeal.

Miller noted a wave of e-mail messages by O'Malley and the governor's use of Democratic Party resources to further the repeal effort. "I don't think any previous governor has politicized the death penalty in such a manner," Miller said.

In response, O'Malley said that he was proud of having fostered "civil debate" on death penalty repeal. "I don't think any senator I've met with would tell you that I've been twisting arms or breaking legs," he said.

The governor said restrictions on the death penalty such as those approved yesterday were a "move forward" and an "improvement," though he held out hope that repeal might be considered again this morning.

Many senators said they have heard from both Miller and O'Malley, who were pulling them in opposite directions, and have fielded dozens of calls from activists and residents. A slim majority of Marylanders support capital punishment, opinion polls show.

Sen. Bobby A. Zirkin, who was considered a potential swing vote, said he had received a phone call Monday from Elie Wiesel, a prominent writer, death penalty opponent and Holocaust survivor.

Since 1978, when Maryland reinstated capital punishment, the state has executed five convicted murderers. Five men are on death row. Last year, O'Malley asked former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti to lead a study of capital punishment in Maryland. The commission recommended abolishing the death penalty, noting the costs involved, the potential of executing an innocent person, and racial and geographic disparity in its use.

Baltimore County prosecutors have been the most aggressive in the state in seeking the death penalty, accounting for 45 percent of the death sentences but only 12 percent of eligible murder cases from 1978 to 1999, a 2003 state-funded study found.

Yesterday, two Democratic senators from that county changed the nature of the death penalty debate, quickly silencing discussion of repeal.

By a 25-21 vote, the 47-member Senate adopted Sen. James Brochin's amendment to reject repeal and instead prohibit the death penalty in cases where there is only eyewitness testimony. Then, Zirkin proposed restricting the death penalty to murder cases in which there is conclusive DNA evidence, video evidence or a videotaped voluntary confession.

Buoyed by support from some death penalty opponents who recognized that the repeal effort had failed, Zirkin's amendment passed easily.

"This may be the high-water mark of what can be achieved this year," Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat and death penalty opponent who heads the Judicial Proceedings Committee, said later.

It was clear that some senators might not have understood the implications of the amendments from Baltimore County.

Sen. John C. Astle, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, and Sen. Rona E. Kramer, a Montgomery County Democrat, voted yesterday morning to move forward with repeal. Both then voted to adopt Brochin's amendment. Astle said afterward that he planned to change his vote on the Brochin amendment. Asked whether she was confused about what Brochin's amendment would do, Kramer said, "Right now, I'm not going to discuss it."

Jane Henderson, director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, said it took her a moment to realize what Brochin's amendment had done. "It was quite a comedy of errors," she said. "I don't hold out much hope that they know what they're doing."

Brochin said he did not intend to confuse the Senate and that he believed that the lawmakers who voted in favor of his amendment understood its effect. "My intention was to make current law into a stronger statute," he said. "It was clear to me."

Yesterday morning, death penalty opponents had cheered the unusual move to revive O'Malley's failed repeal bill.

In a 25-22 vote that surprised leading Democrats, senators set aside the Judicial Proceedings Committee's decision to kill the repeal bill. Miller appeared visibly uncomfortable yesterday with what was happening and voted against the move to circumvent the committee report. He had told lawmakers the night before, "We shouldn't be doing this."

The motion does not appear in the Senate rule book and undermines the committee system and the influence of Miller, who makes committee assignments.

"From this day on, we're not going to do it again," Miller said several times from the podium.

During a break in the Senate lounge, Sen. Richard F. Colburn, an Eastern Shore Republican, decried the move as unleashing a "Pandora's box" of legislative disorder. Then, to make his point on the floor, Colburn asked the chamber to resurrect a bill of his that had been rejected by the Judicial Proceedings Committee. Miller refused to allow Colburn's motion to advance.

Later, Sen. E.J. Pipkin, an Eastern Shore Republican, called the debate "a live experiment" in why the Senate should not have taken up repeal after the committee had killed it.

Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, the Baltimore Democrat who sponsored the death penalty repeal measure, compared the procedural vote to the righteous "act of treason" practiced by signers of the Declaration of Independence. "This is not about process and procedure," Gladden said. "It is about principle."

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, a Republican representing Frederick and Washington counties, broke ranks with his party to vote in favor of resurrecting the repeal legislation, which he had voted against in committee. He cast the deciding vote that paved the way for last night's debate.

"I have always said and believed that this should come to the Senate floor," Mooney said. "If there's a final vote in the full chamber, whether it passes or fails, at least it is a final vote."




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How they voted
The Senate adopted Baltimore County Sen. James Brochin's amendment to restrict the death penalty, rather than to repeal it altogether. Here is the initial vote tally; Sen. John C. Astle later said he wanted to change his vote, and the General Assembly's Web site appears to reflect the change.

Yes to the amendment:

Thomas V. Mike Miller (D); John C. Astle (D); David R. Brinkley (R); James Brochin (D); Richard F. Colburn (R); George W. Della Jr. (D); Roy P. Dyson (D); George C. Edwards (R); Rob Garagiola (D); Barry Glassman (R); Janet Greenip (R); Larry E. Haines (R); Andy Harris (R); Nancy Jacobs (R); Edward J. Kasemeyer (D); Allan H. Kittleman (R); Katherine A. Klausmeier (D); Rona E. Kramer (D); Thomas "Mac" Middleton (D); Alex X. Mooney (R); Donald F. Munson (R); James N. Robey (D); Bryan W. Simonaire (R); J. Lowell Stoltzfus (R); Norman R. Stone Jr.(D)

No to the amendment:

Joan Carter Conway (D); Ulysses Currie (D); James E. "Ed" DeGrange Jr. (D); Nathaniel Exum (D); Brian E. Frosh (D); Lisa A. Gladden (D); David C. Harrington (D); Verna L. Jones (D); Delores G. Kelley (D); Nancy J. King (D); Mike Lenett (D); Richard Madaleno (D); Nathaniel J. McFadden (D); C. Anthony Muse (D); Douglas J.J. Peters (D); Paul G. Pinsky (D); E.J. Pipkin (R); Catherine E. Pugh (D); Jamie Raskin (D); Jim Rosapepe (D); Bobby A. Zirkin (D)

Did not vote:

Jennie M. Forehand (D)

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/bal-md.penalty04mar04,0,7347272.story
Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Moh

Alive on Death Row, 25 Years Later

Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to sign one of the nation's most restrictive death penalty bills into law this month, but that won't affect those already sentenced to death in the state.

In fact, once the new law goes into effect, O'Malley has indicated he will put forth regulations that would allow stalled executions to resume in Maryland, including those of the five men now on death row.

John Booth-el is one of those men.

In a recent telephone interview, Booth-el talked little about the day that led to his death sentence, choosing instead to speak in general terms about "state-sanctioned murder" and the people on death row who are defined by "the worst day of their life."

Booth-el was sentenced to death in 1984 for the brutal murder of Irvin Bronstein. Irvin and Rose Bronstein were found bound and gagged, each stabbed 12 times.

According to court documents, Booth-el, a neighbor of the couple, entered the Bronsteins' home with an accomplice to steal money to buy heroin.

The law that O'Malley's signature will put into effect will limit use of the death penalty to first-degree murder cases with biological or DNA evidence, videotaped voluntary confessions or video linking defendants to a crime, none of which were present in Booth-el's case. But the law does not apply retroactively.

"Using death as a means of social control is never a good idea," Booth-el said during the interview.

Phyllis Bricker, the Bronsteins' daughter, has been waiting decades for justice to be served. May 18 will mark 26 years since her parents were murdered and her family's life changed forever, she said.

"How could anyone feel sorry for the person who did that," she said.

Bricker's brother discovered the bodies when he came by to take his father to get their wedding tuxedos. 2 days after that, Bricker's daughter was married.

To this day, she associates her wedding with her grandparents' death, Bricker said.

Bricker and her husband, Bill, have followed the case back and forth through the appeals process, during which time Booth-el has been sentenced to death three separate times.

Their jobs, hers for the Baltimore County Department of Aging and his as an engineer for WBAL, accommodated the frequent travel that took them to the U.S. Supreme Court and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

The 4th Circuit Court reinstated the 3rd death sentence in 2002, a ruling that stands pending further appeals. Chief Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III called the case "perhaps a textbook example of a protracted capital proceeding."

"Throughout that proceeding, the Maryland courts have not only been attentive to his rights, but have bent over backwards to protect them," Wilkinson wrote in the accompanying legal opinion.

Phyllis Bricker said her family put its faith in the justice system.

"We did what we had to do, and we did it for my parents because they deserved it," she said.

She described her father as an extremely kind man who would often go down to the Baltimore harbor to offer work to the day laborers who congregated there. He would drive them back to his shop, where he would provide a day's work and a free lunch, she said.

Bill Bricker became emotional when talking about his wife's mother.

"I loved my mother-in-law like a mother," he said.

For Booth-el, years behind bars have given him a lot of time to think about his earlier life as well.

After a "pretty normal" early childhood, things started to fall apart when his parents divorced and he was placed in foster homes, he said. He eventually turned to drugs, which led him into a "culture of crime."

"There's nothing like a death sentence to make you really think about what's important in life," he said.

For him, that means family, freedom and interaction with other human beings, embodied in the one thing he misses the most: a baby's smell. He's from a big family, he said, one in which, before he was locked up, someone always seemed to be having a baby.

Booth-el was married on June 2, 1983, he said. He was charged with murder five days later, and he and his new wife soon decided it would be too difficult to maintain their relationship under such circumstances.

He described his subsequent life on death row as a series of "regimented policies and routines designed to be demoralizing."

"Nothing really changes here from day to day," he said.

He, however, is no longer the same person he once was, he said.

"I actually got to like the person that I know that I am," he said.

In prison, he became involved in many causes, including leading initiatives to provide alternatives to violence in settling disputes, helping the elderly and creating an inmate library. He also served as president of the prison chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He said that his involvement in such projects is due in part to selfish reasons. By helping others, he can, however briefly, take his mind off his own situation.

Booth-el gets 11 visits a month now, including some from those former babies he once held.

Along with the cacophony of noise from the other prisoners, the smells he says he misses have been replaced with the stench of prison, making family visits more akin to a funeral or a wake, he said.

Not only does the small steel, concrete and glass cubicle prevent him from touching or hugging them, it's "not much bigger than a coffin," he said.

Phyllis Bricker hasn't been able to speak to her parents since the day they were murdered, she said.

"I'd give anything to talk to my mother and father," she said.

The Brickers feel that people who have not experienced such a loss should not pass judgment on the death penalty, especially when they have never heard a word of testimony in the courtroom.

"If they came home and found their loved ones brutally murdered, would they still be concerned about the person who murdered them," said Phyllis Bricker.

The future of the death penalty is now in O'Malley's hands, and in the pen with which he will sign the new law and authorize regulations to bring the state's lethal injection protocol in line with existing law. This protocol, once enacted, would end the de facto moratorium that has been in place since 2006 and allow the executions of those on death row, including Booth-el, to possibly move forward.

(source: Southern Maryland Online)

http://people.smu.edu/rhalperi/updates.html

Michael

Its an anti-article, but very interesting. The mask of the good-thinkers falls again. After

He, however, is no longer the same person he once was, he said.

its the same excuses like in most of their articles. Did some of them even think that the *sorry* "changed" too. What does he expect - compassion?  :o

Hes there for his actions. It seems even without DNA and videotaped confessions no one tries to doubt on his guilt in this artcile. he commited a crime, he is guilty and he should be happy, that he had so much time to change.

Michael
Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Moh

I just think a person shouldn't get a pass on bounding and gagging two human beings and then stabbing them to death. And I do admit that I don't care whether he's a better person now or not. Anyway, I tend to doubt that someone who was capable of doing what he did can really change much.

Jeff1857

Secretary Gary S. Maynard issued the draft execution protocols on Wednesday----State drafts lethal injection rules


The administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley took a giant step toward restoring Maryland's death penalty on Wednesday, as the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services completed draft regulations on performing executions by lethal injection.

Maryland has had a de facto death-penalty moratorium since December 2006, when the state's highest court invalidated the state's execution protocols because they had not been adopted in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

The draft lethal-injection regulations, which must be reviewed by a legislative committee and published for public comment, comply with the high court's decision in Evans v. State, state officials said.

Completion of the draft regulations follows an unsuccessful legislative effort this year to repeal the state's death penalty, an attempt O'Malley backed. A compromise measure was passed that greatly restricts the use of capital punishment.

O'Malley praised the new law and said he had no choice but to allow the drafting of new protocols to move forward after the repeal effort failed.

"These new regulations mark an important step in ensuring that the death penalty in Maryland is carried out in a manner consistent with state and federal law," O'Malley said in a statement after the draft regulations were released. "While I personally oppose the death penalty, I took an oath to uphold the laws of our state."

Anti-death penalty advocate Jane Henderson expressed strong concern that the proposed lethal-injection protocols call for the continued use of Pancuronium. The paralytic drug immobilizes the condemned making them unable to express any pain they might otherwise be experiencing, said Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions.

Henderson said she welcomed that the proposed lethal-injection regulations will be spelled out in their entirety and submitted for public comment, rather than exposed piecemeal or through litigation.

"It is nice to finally have this all out in the public domain," she said. "Up until now it's been pretty secretive."

The proposed lethal-injection regulations would do the following:

* Clarify prohibitions preventing a Department of Corrections employee from performing a medical procedure known as a "cut down" -- in which an incision is made to expose a vein -- at the time of execution in order to administer the injections;

* Reinforce requirements for pre-execution examination of the convict to determine appropriate locations to insert intravenous needles necessary for execution;

* Reduce from 4 hours to 3 hours the time before execution that the condemned may have visitors, excluding attorney and clergy;

* Require that an inmate with multiple attorneys decide which one, if requested, witnesses the execution;

* Require a contracted paramedic to be immediately outside the execution area if a certified paramedic is not on the execution team; and

* Clarify existing requirements for non-Department of Corrections execution team members to have appropriate credentials to perform assigned duties.

The regulations will next be reviewed by the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR), a 20-member panel consisting of 10 members each from the Senate and House of Delegates. The committee will determine if the proposed rules comport with state law and procedural due process.

The proposed regulations will also be published within the next 30 days in the Maryland Register, marking the start of a 30-day public comment period.

"I feel comfortable the General Assembly's AELR Committee will find that these draft regulations meet the requirements set forth in Evans v. State," said Gary D. Maynard, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, in a prepared statement. "It has always been the duty of the department ... to carry out the laws and regulations of the state of Maryland. These new regulations will ensure we can meet those obligations."

(source: The Md Daily Record)


Moh

Anyone know how many guys on Maryland's death row have exhausted their appeals?

Michael

I found no actual information Moh, but according to this official document all of them had exhausted their appeals.

http://mlis.state.md.us/2003rs/fnotes/bil_0000/sb0350.doc

Its written that two have and 3 will in 2003.

Michael
Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

ScoopD (aka: Pam)

The state of Maryland will no longer rely on eyewitness testimony alone in capital cases. According to The Capital the death penalty "can be imposed only in cases with a videotaped confession, or in which biological, DNA or videotaped evidence conclusively links a defendant to a murder."

Frank Weathersbee, the state's attorney for Anne Arundel County said the new law "probably won't mean much difference." Maryland has only executed five people since 1976 and has five people on death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Maryland is "certainly not Florida, Virginia or Texas," Weathersbee said.


source: dallasnews.com
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.

heidi salazar

Panel says death penalty regs not specific enough

Associated Press


ANNAPOLIS, MD. -- A state panel has put new Maryland death penalty protocols submitted by Gov. Martin O'Malley on hold for further review.

Sen. Paul Pinksy, who is the co-chairman of the panel, says members have questions about the kinds of chemicals used in the state's lethal injection process, and what kind of medical expert should be on hand during an execution.

A hearing has not yet been scheduled before the panel, and it's unclear whether one will take place this year or whether the panel will wait until the Legislature convenes in January.

A de facto moratorium on capital punishment in Maryland has been in place since late 2006, when the state's highest court ruled Maryland's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/ap/panel-says-death-penalty-regs-not-specific-enough-64039652.html


heidi salazar

Records in death penalty trial to be posted on Arundel site

Motions and other court documents in the first death penalty trial since the state adopted restrictions on capital punishment this year will be posted on the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Web site, court officials said.

Lee Edward Stephens is one of two prisoners charged with the 2006 fatal stabbing of Correctional Officer David McGuinn at the now-closed Maryland House of Correction. His trial was recently postponed until Aug. 2, 2010.

No trial date has been scheduled for the other defendant, Lamar C. Harris.

The Web site is circuitcourt.org/news-room.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/anne-arundel/bal-web-site-trial1207,0,769481.story?track=rss

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