Today's Baltimore Sun reports, "Miller would assure death penalty vote; If governor gets support, Senate would act on repeal." It's written by Michael Dresser and Erin Cox. It's also available from Huffington Post.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Wednesday that he will make sure that legislation to repeal Maryland's death penalty gets a vote in his chamber if the governor lines up enough support for approval.
Despite his personal support of the death penalty, Miller said, he would give Gov. Martin O'Malley the opportunity to win passage of such legislation — which has been bottled up in a Senate committee.
"If he shows me the votes, if he's got the votes on the floor of the Senate, then we'll find a way to move it forward," Miller said in an interview. "But this is not just a debating site where you sit and debate the bills that don't have a chance of passage."
O'Malley, a longtime death penalty opponent, sought repeal four years ago but settled for a compromise that sharply limits the circumstances under which it can be imposed. He has come under pressure from death penalty opponents, including NAACP President Benjamin T. Jealous, to renew the fight when the General Assembly begins its annual 90-day session Jan. 9.
Takirra Winfield, an O'Malley spokeswoman, said the governor hasn't decided which bills to include in his legislative agenda for the coming session. But she said that his views have not changed and that he still believes "the death penalty is a drain on the state," Winfield said.
"Miller Promises Death Penalty Repeal Vote, Not Certain Of Passage," is the WBAL-AM report by Robert Lang and Bryan Nehman.
This year's legislative session could bring a vote on repeal of Maryland's death penalty laws. Senate President Mike Miller told The Sun that he wold support a vote on the Senate side if the governor can assure passage. Maryland executions have been on hold since an appeals court ruling in 2006. A spokeswoman for the governor said his legislative agenda is not firmed up yet.
Miller told WBAL News recently that he doesn't think a death penalty repeal can pass the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, which four years ago did not consider a death penalty ban, and instead approved new restrictions on prosecutions.
Miller said the views on the committee have not changed in four years.