That's the title of a Balitmore Sun editorial. It's subtitled, "Since taking office, Gov. O'Malley has presided over a long-term moratorium on executions in Maryland; next year he should push to end capital punishment outright."
Having successfully pushed for historic changes in Maryland laws regarding expanded casino gambling, in-state college tuition rates for some undocumented-immigrant students, and the right of gay people to marry, Gov. Martin O'Malley is now in a position to address one of the last great pieces of unfinished business of his time in Annapolis: abolishing the state's death penalty.
Mr. O'Malley, who opposes capital punishment on religious and practical grounds, reportedly is considering whether to ask the legislature to take up the matter again when it meets in January. We urge him to do so, not only because abolishing the death penalty is morally and ethically the right thing to do but also because there may never be a better time to ban capital punishment once and for all. This coming year, Governor O'Malley would have powerful allies, including the Baltimore-based national office of the NAACP, whose president, Ben Jealous, has vowed to put the full weight of his organization behind an effort to end the death penalty in Maryland.
This state already has one of the most restrictive death penalty laws in the country as a result of a 2009 compromise reached by the legislature that limits its application to cases in which there is either biological evidence of guilt, a videotaped confession or a video of the crime. The tougher requirements came about after Mr. O'Malley sought to abolish the punishment outright that year but failed to overcome the opposition of key lawmakers on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. That hurdle has not disappeared, but the cause remains just, and there's no reason the governor should not try again.
Mr. O'Malley should seize the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy at a time when his political capital has never been higher. Justice and public safety can both be served without resorting to state-sanctioned killings that neither guarantee justice will be done nor make the public safer from crime.
WRC-TV posts, "Will O'Malley Push to Abolish the Death Penalty Again?" It's by Perry Stein at the Morning Read blog.
From his early days as mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley gained a reputation for being hard on crime, at times ordering mass arrests. As governor, O’Malley has hardly issued any pardons and is on track to have the least number of pardons issued of any Maryland governor in decades.
“Democrat or Republican, O’Malley can be counted among the most conservative of his contemporaries on crime.”
But there is one heavy crime issue where O’Malley’s views align a bit differently: The death penalty.
O’Malley is firmly against the death penalty and with the 2012 elections behind him, there are reports that he is considering asking the legislature to abolish the death penalty in the state.
Earlier coverage from Maryland begins at the link.