Maryland: Will Death Penalty Repeal Follow Marriage Equality?

March 2, 2012

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks ©AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday, marriage equality became the law in Maryland with Governor Martin O’Malley’s signature.  Death penalty repeal is another issue the Governor says he feels strongly about, and he should push for the chance to sign that into law too.

In 2009, Maryland legislators tried to create the perfect death penalty law, one that would not risk executing the innocent.  Of course, human beings are still running Maryland’s capital punishment system. Mistakes will be made, and that awful risk remains.

The 2009 law also failed to address exorbitant costs, racial biases, or really any of the major flaws in Maryland’s death penalty, including the reality that, according to a 20-1 vote of the 2008 Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment,  the death penalty is “more detrimental to families” than the alternatives.

On March 7, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear SB872, a bill that not only repeals the death penalty, but redirects some of the money saved to provide real support for victims’ families.  Over 45% of the General Assembly is cosponsoring this bill, more than ever before. Resources are tight, and victims’ families need more help. The General Assembly should pass this bill.

The Governor has supported death penalty repeal for years, but his leadership will be necessary for it to finally reach his desk.  You can help encourage Governor O’Malley to provide that leadership by using Twitter.

Here are some sample Tweets you can use:

Dear @GovernorOMalley, make #Maryland a leader in human rights! #Repeal the #deathpenalty. Victim’s families can’t wait!

Thanks 4 your leadership @GovernorOMalley! #Repeal the #DeathPenalty for #Maryland’s next big win! Act with @amnesty

#Maryland’s death penalty risks executing the innocent. Save Lives & ask Senate to pass SB872 @GovernorOMalley @amnesty