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Death Penalty Debate: Repeal Stripped From Bill

The Maryland Senate has dramatically altered Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty, allowing executions to continue as before except in cases where convictions were based solsely on eyewitness testimony..

The amendment, offered by Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County), passed 25 to 21.

The repeal has "been stripped out of the bill," said Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee and a repeal supporter.

Debate is continuing on other amendments.

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 3, 2009; 4:38 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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Comments

Sounds like progress in the right direction. Maryland needs to send the message to Montana, Kansas, New Mexico and other states that are foolishly considering repealing the death penalty that it shouldn't be repealed. I solidly support the death penalty and am hoping that O'Malley will fail in this effort because it is so shamefully misguided.

Posted by: miyago123 | March 3, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think I disagree with O'Malley here, but I am impressed with his sincerity. He's not getting anything out of this politically.

Posted by: Irish8 | March 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Good.

Posted by: askgees | March 3, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The Senate reconvenes tomorrow at 9:00 AM to consider further amendments. Subsequent to Brochin's amendment, which changed the bill from a repeal effort, another amendment was passed this afternoon that would raise the bar in terms of the type of evidence a prosecutor would need to present in order to ask for the death penalty. Prosecutors would need to provide DNA evidence, or a taped voluntary confession, or taped evidence of the actual comission of a murder.

Posted by: TerrenceDoyle | March 3, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

If this is as far as it can go this year, that is better than nothing but not as good as a full repeal.

Posted by: Judy9 | March 3, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Maryland's senators need to think about more than their political futures. O'Malley is right this time. Not only is the death penalty open to grievous error; it is also a waste of Marylanders' money. We need to get over our thirst for revenge on criminals and think clearly here. I pray for more wisdom for our lawmakers.

Posted by: krrolney | March 3, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank God ! The lies told are unbelieveable it cost much more to keep a killer in prison for life than death row 5 or 6 yrs. which is normal appeal period. this B.S. omelly was saying.You keep a killer at same level you would a death row inmate costing same ea year. only thing that killer will be back more violent and less able to live in society.Victums deserve to know there killer is punished omelly should not bring regilous beliefs to work with. md. has many financial problem to work on!

Posted by: jwilsonte | March 3, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

We need the death penalty for heinous crimes. Would you want to work as a police officer or correctional officer without death penalty deterrence of potential cop killers?
Why are the politicians so concerned about the cost of death penalty appeals? They waste millions on pork and salary increases for themselves.
The governor has his body guards to protect him, but what protection other the fear of a death sentence is there to protect Maryland residents from the criminal rabble in these uncertain times? Call 911 and hope for the best? No thanks.

Posted by: gsb2310 | March 3, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

krrolney, I'm not sure the death penalty is as error prone as you suggest. I'm unaware of anyone in Maryland who was executed who was innocent.

Posted by: RealChoices | March 3, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The death penalty, in study after study, shows no significant deterrent effects. It does, however, prove to be very expensive, both monetarily and morally, and arguably harms our international standing, as most post-industrial democracies have abolished it.

In 2007, we were 5th in number of executions internationally, behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, but ahead of Iraq, interestingly. Not sure that's company I'm all that comfortable with, human rights-wise.

Keep trying, Maryland.

Posted by: vivzig | March 3, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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