Friday, May 03, 2013

One state at a time

Back in March, Maryland's legislature passed a bill to abolish capital punishment in the state. And now it has finally been signed into law, making Maryland the 18th state to repeal the death penalty:

"Maryland has effectively eliminated a policy that is proven not to work. Evidence shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it cannot be administered without racial bias, and it costs three times as much as life in prison without parole," the [governor's] office said in a statement.

"Furthermore, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death. Working together with law enforcement partners, Maryland has driven down violent crime and homicides to three decade lows."

But there's still a legacy of the death penalty in the state, in the form of five people still on death row. The question now is whether Governor O'Malley will commute their sentences or not.