The Associated Press reports, "MD Death Penalty Supporters to Make Announcement." It's by Don Rush, via Delmarva Public Radio.
The Baltimore County state’s attorney is joining a state lawmaker at an announcement related to Maryland’s recent repeal of the death penalty.
Scott Shellenberger is scheduled to join Del. Neil Parrott at an event Friday afternoon in front of the Frederick County Board of Elections.The officials have not said what they’ll announce, though both have been critical of the death penalty repeal.
"Petition on death penalty repeal lacking enough signatures," is by Erin Cox for the Baltimore Sun.
Activists who worked to repeal the death penalty anxiously awaited news Friday that their efforts would not be overturned by a successful petition drive.
"It sounds like they're going to announce that they don't have the signatures," said Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions. "We're happy with that scenario. Democracy's already been served. ... I'm excitedly waiting to see if, come midnight, I'm out of a job."
Despite a flurry of last-minute signature-gathering, proponents of capital punishment may abandon their efforts to put the death penalty to a referendum vote in 2014.
In the past few weeks, the group pushing the petition was far behind its goals to meet Friday's midnight deadline to turn in 18,579 signatures to election officials, said Frederick County State's Attorney J. Charles Smith III.
A formal announcement on the group's plans has been scheduled for Friday afternoon in Frederick. The time was moved to 2 p.m.
“We're still counting, and we're still collecting,” said Republican Del. Neil Parrott, chairman of the mdpetitions.com group leading the effort to put death penalty repeal before voters. “When we announced this, we knew it was going to be a long shot. We’re still trying to see what we can do.”
"Drive to overturn death penalty repeal in trouble, lawmaker acknowledges," by John Wagner in the Washignton Post.
One of the supporters of a petition drive to overturn Maryland’s death penalty repeal acknowledged Thursday that the effort has run into trouble.
“I’m concerned we’re not going to make it,” said Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County). “It’s been hard to know where to go for signatures.”
His comments came the day before the deadline for repeal opponents to turn in an initial batch of signatures that would allow the drive to continue.
A successful effort by MDPetitions.com, the group leading the petition drive, would halt the death penalty repeal law pending a statewide vote in November 2014.
The group has until midnight Friday to turn in 18,579 valid signatures to Maryland’s secretary of state. If the group succeeds, it will be given another month to produce an additional 37,157 signatures of registered voters.
Earlier coverage of Maryland's repeal of the death penalty begins at the link.