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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."

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 4, 2009; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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why would anyone want to eliminate the death penalty unless they or someone they love were planning to commit a capital crime?

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | March 4, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

To Charlietuna...........

Perhaps because they do not want to be a part of a state sanctioned murder--the definition of capital punishment.

Posted by: jmsbh | March 4, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

ya ya finally maybe there is some hope for justice.. I believe people who are against death sentence are not families of victims,but have family members who have murder raped the innocent of this world shame on them!Dont forget all you bible believers eye for eye tooth for tooth!change we can believe in,

Posted by: jwilsonte | March 4, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Speculation on the death penalty.

There is a fair amount of evidence that the process of death in itself may not be a penalty at all. It could just as easily be a liberation from pain and suffering, as increasing numbers of people who have chosen euthanasia for terminal illnesses understand. Suicide might be morally wrong if there is no reason for it, but to suggest that Creation designed life to be an endless torture is to suggest there is something fundamentally wrong with Creation, no matter how Creation is perceived.

The problem with a 'penalty' is that the person who has committed an act justifying a 'death penalty' by justice seeking people might not be capable of understanding any relation with Homosapiens. That is, the individual who has committed a predatory crime against humanity no longer meets the minimum standards of the Homosapien species; it is just another predatory animal carrying out a primitive imperative and might not even have the ability to feel pain for itself or others. There are many recent studies concerning sociopaths, including very modern MRI brain scans, that indicate a lack of empathy for humans by violent entities among them. Under such a definition, the idea of a 'death penalty' has no meaning while euthanasia of an animal does. If society determines that severe crimes against humanity were committed by a carefully tested sociopath that is 'terminally ill', why is there an objection to euthanasia (execution by lethal injection) if the concept of punishment is meaningless?

When a 'death penalty' of humans can be carried out by some humanity-less entity on any street of planet Earth (world terrorist homicides are 1400 per day), a much more precise societal definition of euthanasia is very much needed. A 'repeat offender' of violence against humans continues the predatory behavior regardless of treatment or confinement. How has it been determined that a person without consciousness is better off living in shackles among the humans he hates rather than being given a 'gift' of euthanasia?

Posted by: jarob | March 4, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Most capital case defendants are poor, so I have to think this isn't a ploy by the Trial Attorney's to keep the business.

Get rid of the darn penalty!

Posted by: RedBird27 | March 4, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments in support of the death penalty are so idiotic they speak for themselves. I don't even have to put any thought into a response! Thanks!

Posted by: Virginia3 | March 4, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I have witnessed an execution and would say this it just a simple and easy process. I did not loose any sleep specially when the murders last statement was I have nothing to be sorry for.

Posted by: mcarr2 | March 4, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse


If poor spelling and grammar were a capital offense, they would have hanged you long ago.

Posted by: unrest | March 5, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

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