Maryland Death Penalty Repeal Pass First (And Biggest) Test

Amnesty members and others protest the death penalty in Maryland

Amnesty member Stanford Fraser rallies supporters of death penalty repeal in Annapolis with Jane Henderson of MD CASE.

Death penalty abolition in Maryland is on the move!

Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceeds Committee has voted 6-5 in favor of SB 276, the bill that repeals the death penalty. (Sadly, a provision that would have allocated some funds saved from abandoning capital punishment to support victims’ families was stripped from the bill.)

Passing repeal through this committee was a major hurdle, and one that had proved insurmountable in previous years. But a critical mass of support for abolishing capital punishment has been reached, both across the state and inside Annapolis, and the bill is now headed to the Senate floor.

SB276 could get its first Senate floor debate as early as Saturday, and it is likely that the full Maryland Senate will vote on death penalty repeal this coming week.

The vote will be close, and the debate will be contentious, presumably with many amendments offered. Those of you in Maryland should take action now to let your legislators know that passing death penalty repeal – without amendments – is very important to you.

Those of you living outside of Maryland can also take action, letting Governor O’Malley know that his efforts so far are appreciated, but that we expect him to keep pushing until the bill to repeal the death penalty is on his desk with his signature on it.

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3 thoughts on “Maryland Death Penalty Repeal Pass First (And Biggest) Test

  1. Has anyone considered the cons of this bill, pardon the pun? Don't get me wrong, I am all about human rights, animal rights, green living and such. What I am worried and many of people probably are and won't speak out about, is this. If you abolish the death penalty, you are telling people "Go ahead and committ murder, rape, and terrorism. The worst you get is life in prison. They can't kill you" Prisons are a fun filled living facilit to many criminals. They get so many things that homeless don't. A bed, companionship, commesary, hot meals, medical, yard time, drugs, ciggarettes, t.v. books. There is no lesson being taught in prison. Deffinately not that they are bad,or what is meant by serving a sentence like it was meant to be. Go ahead and abolish the death penalty. See if crime rises. It definately isn't going down. It might if the penalty were enforced though. Hmmm.

  2. This is a good first step to the US preoccupation with this cruel practice of killing. One hopes that the US will come to this goal in all of it's States!

  3. Many political philosophers today think of justice as fundamentally about fairness, while those who defend capital punishment typically hold that justice is fundamentally about desert. Justice as fairness calls for capital punishment because the continued existence of murderers increases unfairness between themselves and their victims, increasing the harm to murdered persons. Rescuing murdered persons from increasing harm is prima facie morally required, and so capital punishment is a prima facie duty of society and sentencing judges