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O'Malley Speaks Out for New Limits to Death Penalty

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) urged a House panel today to pass a Senate bill that tightens standards of evidence in death penalty cases, acknowledging a full repeal of capital punishment remains elusive this year.

The Senate bill restricts capital cases to those where there is DNA or biological evidence, a videotaped confession or a videotape linking the suspect to a murder.

"It represents progress over a very flawed status quo," O'Malley told the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on the legislation. O'Malley had made repeal of the death penalty a priority this legislative session.

O'Malley said he would like the House to pass the bill without amendments so that it will not be sent back to the Senate for additional consideration. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) has said his chamber is done debating the death penalty for the year.

The Post reported this morning that Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) has reservations about the bill. Here is full coverage of the issue.

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 17, 2009; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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Comments

O'Malley endorses a bill just after the state's highest legal officer concludes the bill is legally half-baked. Great timing, MOM.

Let's see if party loyalty prevails, and the House approves a law that is legally unsound AND has the practical effect of doing exactly what it says it doesn't do: repeal the death penalty in Maryland.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | March 18, 2009 4:50 AM | Report abuse

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