"Maryland attorney general takes step to rescind death sentences for 4 death row inmates," is by Brian Witte of Associated Press, via the Greenfield Daily Reporter.
Maryland's attorney general has taken steps that could result in the revocation of death sentences for four inmates who were sentenced to die before the state abolished capital punishment last year.
Doug Gansler announced Thursday that he was filing a brief with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to support attorneys for Jody Lee Miles. They contend his death sentence is illegal.
The repeal applied only to future death sentences, leaving four men on death row.
The AG's Brief in Miles v. Maryland is available in Adobe .pdf format.
"Md. Attorney General: Vacate sentence of death row inmate," is by Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun.
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said Thursday that his office was filing a brief with the Court of Special Appeals in the appeal of an Eastern Shore man, Jody Lee Miles, who has asked to be re-sentenced because he says his punishment can no longer be carried out. The brief recommends Miles instead receive life without the possibility of parole.
"Whether or not you agree with the death penalty, the recent repeal of capital punishment in Maryland nevertheless demands that we pursue a prison sentence that ensures Jody Lee Miles dies behind bars, where he belongs," Gansler said.
The Attorney General's office argues that the jury that sentenced Miles had a choice of death or life without parole, the latter which should be imposed with the death penalty essentially off the table.
"Maryland has no authority to execute its death-row inmates, attorney general says," is by John Wagnerfor the Washington Post.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said Thursday that the state does not have the legal authority to execute the four men who remain on death row following the legislature’s decision last year to abolish capital punishment.
The legislation, championed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), did not apply to people sentenced to death prior to its passage. That has left the legal standing of the four death-row inmates in limbo.
Gansler (D) said he has concluded that it is a “legal and factual impossibility” to execute the prisoners because Maryland no longer has regulations in place on how to administer lethal injections. With the death penalty no longer on the books, the state cannot develop new regulations on how to carry out executions, Gansler said. Keeping the men on death row, he argued, therefore violates their due-process rights.
The Daily Record posts, "In about-face, Gansler urges court to spare man on death row."
Outgoing Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is urging an appellate court to spare the life of a man on Maryland’s death row, saying the state’s 2013 repeal of capital punishment should apply to him.
Gansler, who opposed the death-penalty repeal, appeared at an 11 a.m. press conference with Del. Sandy Rosenberg, a sponsor of the repeal measure.
The attorney general plans to file a brief Thursday with the Court of Special Appeals, backing a request by Jody Lee Miles, who was convicted of the 1997 robbery and murder of Edward Joseph Atkinson in Wicomico County. Miles wants the court to change his death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
WBAL-AM posts, "Gansler Asks For Death Sentence To Be Reduced For Miles," by Robert Lang.
Gansler says his request only applies to Miles' case, but he says attorneys for the other three men on death row could make a similar request.
He told WBAL News that Miles request could automatically apply to Heath Burch, who is on death row for a 1996 murder in Prince George's County. Gansler says at the time, a law was in effect that gave the jury the option to consider either a death sentence, or life in prison without parole.
Gansler says a ruling on this case may not apply to Vernon Evans, or Anthony Grandison, who are on death row for a 1983 murder of two people at a Pikesville motel. Gansler says juries did not have a life without parole option, at the time of their trial.
The Maryland Attorney General's Office has issued the news release,"A.G. Gansler Seeks to Resolve Uncertainty Following Repeal of Md.'s Death Penalty."