"NAACP to step up Maryland death penalty fight," is by Michael Dresser for the Baltimore Sun. Here's the beginning of the article.
The NAACP is vowing to mount in Annapolis its largest-ever effort to abolish the death penalty in a state, saying Maryland's historic role in the civil rights movement makes it an appropriate place for the push.
In an interview, NAACP President Ben Jealous said Maryland is the civil rights organization's top priority in its broader campaign to eliminate capital punishment from the American justice system. He said the group will spend more than it ever has in a state as it rallies citizens to pressure lawmakers for repeal.
"We'll make sure people hear from their constituents in a way they've never heard from them before," Jealous said.
The NAACP has historically opposed the death penalty for a variety of reasons, including racial disparities in how it is applied. Jealous said Maryland is especially important to the NAACP because of the state's civil rights history — including the careers of native sons Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Douglass.
"There's a special debt of honor to get this done in Maryland for the NAACP," Jealous said.
His announcement comes as Gov. Martin O'Malley, a death penalty opponent, is weighing whether to put the full weight of his office behind a renewed effort to shut down Maryland's Death Row. A previous O'Malley effort ended in 2009 with a compromise bill that narrowed the circumstances under which a killer can be sentenced to death but left capital punishment on the books.
Earlier coverage from Maryland begins at the link.