According to The Wall Street Journal, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is pushing to ban capital punishment in the state. At a news conference in Annapolis, the Governor stated that the death penalty does not prevent violent crimes such as murder and that, in fact, the incident rates for murder in states that have capital punishment are higher.
The Governor plans to introduce a bill into the legislature for the full repeal of Maryland’s death penalty. If the bill passes, Maryland would join the five other states that have abolished the death penalty as of 2007. These states include New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, and New Mexico. The majority of the nation still practices capital punishment.
Aside from a lack of statistical evidence demonstrating that the death penalty prevents violent crime, Governor O’Malley also cites cost as a factor in his push towards banning the death penalty. A study conducted by a Maryland commission in 2008 found that pursuing a capital case costs three times more than pursuing a conviction carrying a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The fact that many capital cases involve lengthy appeals increases the costs associated with such cases. Five inmates have been executed in Maryland since 1978, but none since 2004.
Regardless of whether the new bill passes, it is important to remember that no criminal accusation should be taken lightly. While the penalties for different crimes vary, all can have a significant impact on a person’s future. If you have been accused of a crime in Maryland, the aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer can protect your legal rights and help find the best possible resolution to your situation. Contact us today at (866) 444-6363 to speak to a lawyer about your particular circumstances.