Death Penalty Debate: Evidence Limits Likely to Pass
The Maryland Senate this morning stopped considering amendments to a death penalty bill, with leaders indicating they plan to pass the legislation as it stood last night.
The bill would prohibit death sentences based solely on eyewitness testimony and require either biological evidence, videotaped confessions or videotape of the crime in capital cases.
The bill was amended yesterday to include those provisions, while provisions sought by Gov. Martin O'Malley to repeal the death penalty were stripped out.
"We think it's best for the body to move forward in this manner," Senate Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). "This puts the issue to rest for this session."
A vote on the bill is expected tomorrow in the Senate.
Assuming the bill passes the Senate, it would next move to the House of Delegates.
Several pro-repeal senators expressed disappointment that capital punishment would remain on the books . They acknowledged passage of a repeal will not happen this year.
"I'll be back next year with a bill," said Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore), who sponsored the repeal bill with O'Malley. "We'll try again, and again and again."
March 4, 2009; 10:12 AM ET
Categories: General Assembly , John Wagner
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