Next State to Ban Death Penalty: Maryland?
Yep, if Gov. Martin O'Malley has his way
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2013 8:39 AM CST
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at a rally in support of repealing the state's death penalty.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley wants 2013 to be the year his state bans the death penalty once and for all, and he's not wasting any time in getting the ball rolling. The Democrat plans to introduce a bill outlining such a ban this week. If his bid is successful, Maryland will become the 18th state to do away with capital punishment, reports the Wall Street Journal. His quest may not be an easy one, though. A close vote is expected in the state Senate, where 24 of 47 senators will have to vote in favor of the ban before the House can consider it.

A rep for the governor says he's confident that'll happen, but he does face opposition, and his prior efforts have stalled. Republican Delegate Neil Parrott said O'Malley's "priorities are all messed up. By watering down punishments for violent crime, he's encouraging crime to happen in Maryland rather than in Virginia or other states." O'Malley, however, says the death penalty doesn't deter violent crime, and that prosecuting a capital case simply costs too much. No one has been executed in Maryland since 2004; five inmates sit on death row.

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Jan 17, 2013 10:57 AM CST
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Jan 16, 2013 11:17 AM CST
First time I debated the death penalty was in 8th grade. We were assigned our sides, and I was chosen to oppose it. When I came home and told my dad I had to oppose it he told me "you're lucky, that's the easy side" and explained to me how much more expensive the death penalty is than imprisoning someone. You would think killing someone would be cheap, and it is in some places, but in our country the cost is more than lifelong imprisonment. Think about it... It's not just the cost of the poison, or the electricity, it's the cost of the procedure too. You have to compensate an executioner to kill another human being for you, and to do it properly. How much do you think that costs? How much would you need to be paid to kill someone? So when you add together the cost, and the fact that we sometimes convict innocent people with our imperfect legal system, there's really no logical point to having the death penalty in a first world country like ours.