In a late night vote last night, the Judicial Proceedings Committee of the Maryland Senate voted 6 to 5 to repeal Maryland's death penalty. This means that the bill will go to the full Senate. According to The Washington Post, the bill is likely to pass the Senate because there are now
26 senators who are either co-sponsoring the repeal bill or who have said in interviews that they plan to support it. That’s two more than are required to pass bills on the Senate floor.http://www.washingtonpost.com/....
According to that same article in The Washington Post, the Maryland House of Delegates is also likely to pass the bill.
If the Bill is sent to the Governor, Governor O'Malley will sign it since he has long supported repealing the death penalty. In fact, Governor O'Malley testified at the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 14, 2013 in support of repealing the death penalty. In his testimony, Governor O'Malley testified that the death penalty does not work, that it is not an effective use of our tax dollars and that it is not consistent with our values. In stating why the death penalty is not consistent with our values, Governor O'Malley testified:
Finally, across our ever-more-closely connected world, the majority of public executions now take place in just seven countries: Iran. Iraq. The People’s Republic of China. North Korea. Saudi Arabia. Yemen. And the United States of America.http://www.governor.maryland.gov/...
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, our free and diverse Republic was not founded on fear, or on revenge, or on retribution. Freedom, justice, the dignity of every individual, equal rights before the law – these are the principals that define our character. They are the treasures of our great nation, and the death penalty is inconsistent with these principles.
Governor O'Malley also testified in support of repealing the death penalty in 2009. In that testimony, Governor O'Malley stated:
It is our time in Maryland for a deeper public dialogue on the question of what kind of society we want to be. What kind of society we hope to leave for our children. What kind of society we are choosing to build for our families, for our communities, and for future generations. It is time to ask whether public executions – even of the guilty – are consistent with the future we prefer for our children’s world.http://www.governor.maryland.gov/...
Our free and diverse republic was founded not on fear and retribution – it was born from higher things; rooted in unalienable rights endowed by our Creator. Freedom, justice, the dignity of the individual, equal rights before the law – these are the principals that define our character as a people. And so we must ask ourselves: are these principles compatible with the “civil” taking of human life? Are these principles compatible with the very real risk of erroneously taking the life of an innocent neighbor?
In 2009, the majority of the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted against repealing the death penalty. The vote this year in favor of repeal by that committee means that the repeal of the death penalty is likely in Maryland this year.