On November 12, the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment voted to recommend repealing the death penalty in Maryland. On December 12, the Commission issued that recommendation in their Final Report. The Commission was created by the Maryland General Assembly to conduct a thorough study of capital punishment in that state. After five public hearings and hours of testimony from both experts and the general public, the Commission determined that Maryland's death penalty is racially and geographically biased, more expensive, harmful to victims' families, and not a deterrent. The Commission also concluded that there is a "real possibility" of executing an innocent person in Maryland. The solution to these fundamental flaws, the Commission found, is to repeal the death penalty.
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Belarus: Commute Gennadii Yakovitskii's Death Sentence (UA 18/16)
Gennadii Yakovitskii was sentenced to death in Belarus on 5 January. His was the first death sentence to be passed in 2016.
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