The abolition of the death penalty in Maryland mattered to many victims’ families; that’s one of the reasons it passed. Also important for these families was the funding originally attached to the repeal bill that would have provided real tangible support for families who lose loved ones to homicide. Support that pays for counseling, that helps mitigate the loss of a breadwinner, or that helps pay for funeral costs.
The funding provision was stripped from Maryland’s repeal bill, but promises were made, by the Governor among others, that the funding would be covered in the state’s budget. Well, the first supplemental budget has been submitted, and funding to support victims’ families is NOT included.
If no more budget items are submitted this would be, in a literal sense of the word, a shame. Fortunately, there is still time to let Governor O’Malley know that this funding is important. You can take action here, or call him at 410.974.3901 or 1.800.811.8336.
Abolishing the death penalty is an absolute necessity for the advancement of human rights, but it is equally essential to support families whose rights have also been severely violated by murder.