Death Penalty Debate Set for Maryland Senate

On Tuesday, March 3, 2009, the Maryland Senate voted to open a full debate into the issue of capital punishment in the state, reports the Baltimore Sun in an article.

Under pressure from capital punishment opponent Governor Martin O’Malley, the senate first voted to turn down a measure presented by the Judicial Proceedings Committee to retain the right to administer capital punishment in certain cases. After defeating the measure by a narrow margin, the senate tallied votes to open a debate on the death penalty. The future of the debate hinged on a single vote, with a final of 24 in favor of the debates and 23 opposing.

The United States Supreme Court removed the death penalty from Maryland’s slate of punishments in 1972 in the wake of Furman v. Georgia. Six years later, the Maryland legislature passed new laws permitting capital punishment that met the Supreme Court’s definitions of fairness.

Seeking the death penalty is an option for prosecutors in cases of first-degree murder in Maryland. At least 30 days before the trial, the prosecution must present written notice of the death penalty to the defendant. The State may also choose to punish a first-degree murder with life imprisonment or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Currently five men await death sentences in Maryland prisons.

If you have been charged with committing a violent crime or have any questions concerning capital punishment, please contact one of  Maryland’s top criminal defense attorneys at the law offices of Alpert Schreyer, LLC at 866-444-6363 for a free consultation today.

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.