Capital Punishment at the Capitol
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) testified this afternoon in favor of repealing the death penalty during back to back legislative hearings in the Senate and the House.
Aides said O'Malley, who is Catholic, argued that the cost of prosecuting death penalty cases in Maryland far exceeds the cost of lifelong imprisonment and that capital punishment has not proved to be an effective crime deterrent. He explained his position in a Washington Post op-ed article today.
Before the hearings begin this Ash Wednesday, a group of men sentenced to death row only to be cleared later, hold a news conference at the State House.
Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore), a lead bill sponsor, said O'Malley's backing of the legislation has made her optimistic about the bill's passage.
"It feels like it has mega-energy," Gladden said. "When you have friends in high places, it makes some difference. For years, I've been feeling like I'm whistling in the dark."
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