Md. poised to be 18th state to ban death penalty

BIV

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Apr 22, 2002
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Md. poised to be 18th state to ban death penalty
By MICHELLE JANAYE NEALY and BRIAN WITTE | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — It's been eight years since Maryland executed a convicted killer, but that could be the last time if the General Assembly, as expected, gives final passage this week to a bill to abolish capital punishment.

Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, has been pushing for the change since his first year in office. Now the Democratic-controlled legislature seems poised to make Maryland the 18th state in the nation to do away with the death penalty.

A repeal bill has already been approved by the state Senate and it was expected to win final passage from the House of Delegates on Friday.

The House advanced the legislation this week after delegates rejected nearly 20 amendments, mostly from Republicans, aimed at keeping capital punishment for the most heinous crimes.

If passed, life without the possibility of parole would be the most severe sentence in the state.

Supporters of repeal argue that the death penalty is costly, error-prone, racially biased and a poor deterrent of crime. But opponents say it is a necessary tool to punish lawbreakers who commit the most egregious crimes.

Passage would mark a major victory for O'Malley, who has long pushed for banning the death penalty.

Maryland has five men on death row. The measure would not apply to them retroactively, but the legislation makes clear that the governor can commute their sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The state's last execution took place in 2005, during the administration of Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich. He resumed executions after a moratorium had been in place pending a 2003 University of Maryland study, which found significant racial and geographic disparity in how the death penalty was carried out.

Capital punishment was put on hold in Maryland after a December 2006 ruling by Maryland's highest court that the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee. The committee, whose co-chairs oppose capital punishment, has yet to sign off on protocols.

O'Malley, a Catholic, expressed support for repeal legislation in 2007, but it stalled in a Senate committee.

Maryland has a large Catholic population, and the church opposes the death penalty.

In 2008, lawmakers created a commission to study capital punishment after repeal efforts failed again. The panel recommended a ban later that year, citing racial and jurisdictional disparities in how the death penalty is applied.

In 2009, lawmakers tightened the law to reduce the chances of an innocent person being sent to death row by restricting capital punishment to murder cases with biological evidence such as DNA, videotaped evidence of a murder or a videotaped confession.

According to the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services website, Maryland has only executed five inmates since 1976. There were three in the 1990s, and two when Ehrlich was governor.

In contrast, neighboring Virginia has executed 110 inmates since the U.S. Supreme Court restored capital punishment in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. However, Virginia's death row population has dwindled to eight from a peak of 57 in 1995, in part because fewer death sentences are being handed down in the state amid an increased acceptance of life without parole as a reasonable alternative.

The center said death sentences have declined by 75 percent and executions by 60 percent nationally since the 1990s.

If passed, Maryland would become the 18th state to ban the death penalty. Connecticut did so last year. Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York also have abolished it in recent years.
http://news.yahoo.com/md-poised-18th-state-ban-death-penalty-085739152.html
 

tattered

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Aug 22, 2002
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#2
Now how are Greggs and McNulty gonna get guys in Barksdale's crew to roll
 

Sinn Fein

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I'm glad I moved down south. I realize more and more each day how much I belong here.
 

Lord Zero

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#5
Get rid of it. No matter how much a person deserves to die, it's fucked up to legally empower one's fellow man with the authority to decide whether that person lives or dies. The only exception should be things like genocide trials and cases where execution was requested by the defendant (I'm pro-assisted suicide/euthanasia).
 

Begbie

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Jul 21, 2003
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#6
Ones who commit premeditated, deliberate, and willful murder on another human being(s) shall ultimately meet the same fate. Not like this makes a big difference in Maryland anyway. Only 5 people have been put to death in that state in 1976...the last coming in 2005.

We have to learn to stop catering to criminals. We're just making it easier and easier for them. They don't have to worry about getting a bullet to their heads when we're disarming law-abiding citizens...and now we want to make the guarantee that they'll always have a roof over their heads and have meals prepared for them for the balance of their pathetic, wasted lives, with no fear of termination. Sure, that's sending the right message. :rolleyes:

I'll put it this way...a law abiding gun-holder could easily shoot to kill some scumbag who maybe shot some innocent lady and has a gun to the head of another. We would typically cheer a story like that. But just because this scumbag was lucky that no one armed was around to interrupt his killing(s)...doesn't mean the scumbag is off the hook and shouldn't lose his life after he's been found guilty. He deserves to die and it should be carried out.
 

Lord Zero

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#7
doesn't mean the scumbag is off the hook and shouldn't lose his life after he's been found guilty. He deserves to die and it should be carried out.
What if he's innocent? If he was wrongfully or fraudulently prosecuted, convicted, and put to death, then the state has committed murder, all mistakenly in the name of retribution (which isn't the same thing as justice).
 

Hog's Big Ben

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#8
If it costs more to kill someone than it does to keep them in prison for ~40 years, then you're doing it wrong.
 

peewee

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#9
The death penalty does little to deter criminals and it costs a shit load of money to execute someone. It's nice to have the option but it's not like this is going to really change much.
 

Hog's Big Ben

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#10
What if he's innocent? If he was wrongfully or fraudulently prosecuted, convicted, and put to death, then the state has committed murder, all mistakenly in the name of retribution (which isn't the same thing as justice).
I'd like to think we're past that now because of changes in the law such as this:

In 2009, lawmakers tightened the law to reduce the chances of an innocent person being sent to death row by restricting capital punishment to murder cases with biological evidence such as DNA, videotaped evidence of a murder or a videotaped confession.

There were only 43 death penalty executions in the United States last year. I can't imagine there's too many Negroes being sent up the river these days because of a mistaken glance at a white dame.
 

Lord Zero

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#11
I'd like to think we're past that now because of changes in the law such as this:

In 2009, lawmakers tightened the law to reduce the chances of an innocent person being sent to death row by restricting capital punishment to murder cases with biological evidence such as DNA, videotaped evidence of a murder or a videotaped confession.
DNA evidence can be easily misunderstood or misrepresented because most jurors don't actually understand DNA evidence. In fact, most jurors are idiots. Jurors are idiots and local judges are elected by popular vote (are others are simply appointed by their powerful friends); those are the two parties in charge of playing god on the state's behalf in capital murder trials.

As far as the confessions bit, go read about the West Memphis Three and tell me that's any kind of deterrent. Suspects that are innocent are much more likely to plead guilty when a cop or a prosecutor tells them that they could be put to death if they go to trial and lose.
 

Begbie

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#12
What if he's innocent? If he was wrongfully or fraudulently prosecuted, convicted, and put to death, then the state has committed murder, all mistakenly in the name of retribution (which isn't the same thing as justice).

I'm not trying a man for capital murder when there's enough reasonable doubt that he committed it or that he committed it in self-defense. I'm talking about the rather obvious incidents where there's generally no question who committed these acts, and those do exist. Those same savages also should not have the right to waste taxpayer money with worthless appeals processes.
 

Lord Zero

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#13
I'm not trying a man for capital murder when there's enough reasonable doubt that he committed it or that he committed it in self-defense. I'm talking about the rather obvious incidents where there's generally no question who committed these acts, and those do exist. Those same savages also should not have the right to waste taxpayer money with worthless appeals processes.
You still have the ethical issue of giving the government or even 12 normal normal citizens the authority to revoke life.
 

whiskeyguy

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#14
You still have the ethical issue of giving the government or even 12 normal normal citizens the authority to revoke life.
I'd only be for using the death penalty in cases where there's conclusive evidence and the crimes were exceptionally bad... such as the Colorado theater shooter. I've always said it's better to make a mistake and allow a guilty person to go free, than to kill/incarcerate an innocent one.

But I do believe constitutionally someone's life can be revoked once they've gone through due process. However, due process is so expensive and time-consuming these days, that the death penalty is no longer worth it financially or a real deterrent. I would support a more limited appeals process for people convicted beyond any doubt (not just reasonable), again using the Colorado shooter as an example.
 

Hog's Big Ben

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DNA evidence can be easily misunderstood or misrepresented because most jurors don't actually understand DNA evidence. In fact, most jurors are idiots. Jurors are idiots and local judges are elected by popular vote (are others are simply appointed by their powerful friends); those are the two parties in charge of playing god on the state's behalf in capital murder trials.

As far as the confessions bit, go read about the West Memphis Three and tell me that's any kind of deterrent. Suspects that are innocent are much more likely to plead guilty when a cop or a prosecutor tells them that they could be put to death if they go to trial and lose.
I guess I'd like to change my response. Don't consider confessions from tards like in the WM3 case to be conclusive (Jessie Misskelley's IQ was 72). Don't consider DNA obtained from a solitary pubic hair in the victim's bed to be conclusive (I could've fucked that bitch the week before she was killed).

Like Justice Stewart said, "I know it when I see it". I think you know what I mean by an open-and-shut case: something where there's clear video of the crime, or one with a confession containing details only the killer would know, etc.
 

Lord Zero

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#16
I guess I'd like to change my response. Don't consider confessions from tards like in the WM3 case to be conclusive (Jessie Misskelley's IQ was 72). Don't consider DNA obtained from a solitary pubic hair in the victim's bed to be conclusive (I could've fucked that bitch the week before she was killed).

Like Justice Stewart said, "I know it when I see it". I think you know what I mean by an open-and-shut case: something where there's clear video of the crime, or one with a confession containing details only the killer would know, etc.
My main point is still that people -- with a some rare non-self-defense exceptions like the Holocaust and the fall of Benito Mussolini -- simply don't have the right to decide the fate of their fellow man unless their lives or rights are at stake.
 

mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
Jan 30, 2005
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#17
Jessie Misskelley's IQ was 72.
Really? Holy poop that's dumb. And it's still 10 more than his height in inches. Poor bastard.

If you were at the character creation screen for yourself, and you only had 134 points for the two, how would you distribute them?
 

Hog's Big Ben

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#18
My main point is still that people -- with a some rare non-self-defense exceptions like the Holocaust and the fall of Benito Mussolini -- simply don't have the right to decide the fate of their fellow man unless their lives or rights are at stake.
So if a guy breaks into my house and comes at me with a knife and I put a bullet in his head, it's perfectly fine for me to kill him. But if the same guy breaks into my house and I'm a gunless schmuck that gets stabbed to death but the whole incident is caught on my home surveillance system, the state can't kill him?

On behalf of my survivors, fuck that.
 

peewee

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Aug 10, 2003
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#19
So if a guy breaks into my house and comes at me with a knife and I put a bullet in his head, it's perfectly fine for me to kill him. But if the same guy breaks into my house and I'm a gunless schmuck that gets stabbed to death but the whole incident is caught on my home surveillance system, the state can't kill him?

On behalf of my survivors, fuck that.
The difference is that someone breaks into your house and is threatening your life you are killing him to save yourself, not as a punishment for breaking into your house. If he kills you and is later arrested the threat is over, killing him at that point is not saving anyone, just punishing him.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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#20
The difference is that someone breaks into your house and is threatening your life you are killing him to save yourself, not as a punishment for breaking into your house. If he kills you and is later arrested the threat is over, killing him at that point is not saving anyone, just punishing him.
Potato, potahto. Fry that bitch. Tell your cute little punishment story to the family of his next victim after he's released because of prison overcrowding or some such horseshit.
 

Lord Zero

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#21
Two other important things to remember:

1. The law cannot concern itself with vengeance.

2. Deciding which murders warrant the death penalty creates a hierarchy of victims.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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#22
Two other important things to remember:

1. The law cannot concern itself with vengeance.

2. Deciding which murders warrant the death penalty creates a hierarchy of victims.
1. It's not. It's concerning itself with "he won't do that shit again".

2. How so? Some cases have a mountain of evidence and others barely have any hearsay. That doesn't mean somebody's ranking the victims in some sort of order.

Let me just give you the simplest possible scenario: a killer videos his murder in crystal-clear HD while a dozen eyewitnesses watch. If that somehow still is not enough evidence for you, just play along for the sake of the argument that it's understood that the killer is 100% guilty. Maybe you're one of the eyewitnesses. Hell, maybe you're the killer.

Are you still arguing that he should be allowed to live out the rest of his 40 or 50 years? Prison sounds awful, but like O&A say, it just becomes the new normal. He took a life, but he gets three squares a day, gets to watch the prison TV, maybe even earn some cigarette money on the side by doing the prison laundry. There's a percentage of "free" Americans whose standard of living isn't that high. Fry the bitch!
 

peewee

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#23
Locking someone up for the rest of their life would ensure that he doesn't do that shit again, and it is much cheaper then executing him. I am not against the death penalty for any moral reasons. My objection with it is that it costs a shit load of money, and it doesn't act as a deterrent.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#24
Locking someone up for the rest of their life would ensure that he doesn't do that shit again, and it is much cheaper then executing him. I am not against the death penalty for any moral reasons. My objection with it is that it costs a shit load of money, and it doesn't act as a deterrent.
Since when are you concerned with how much something costs?

I support the death penalty, but there are many problems with the application of it. We need to be 120 percent sure the people we're executing are guilty.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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#25
Locking someone up for the rest of their life would ensure that he doesn't do that shit again, and it is much cheaper then executing him. I am not against the death penalty for any moral reasons. My objection with it is that it costs a shit load of money, and it doesn't act as a deterrent.
The death penalty itself doesn't cost a shitload of money. The actual execution drugs cost less than $100. The endless appeals and pomp and circumstance surrounding it is what bloats the cost.

Locking someone up for the rest of their life doesn't ensure anything either. People escape. Sentences get commuted for whatever reason. What if the killer kills someone else in prison? Fry the bitch!