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O’Malley calls for death penalty repeal
Mr. O'Malley pushed for a death penalty repeal during the first year of his first term, in 2007. He backed another effort in 2009, when a bill to ban capital punishment was rejected by the state Senate. Legislators instead passed a compromise that allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty only in first-degree murder cases in which there is biological or DNA evidence, a videotaped confession or conclusive video evidence.
Maryland currently has five people on death row and has not executed a person since 2005. The state has executed five people since 1976.
Analysts say executions have plummeted nationwide and are banned in some states because of rising concerns over heavy court costs, biased sentencing and, perhaps most prominently, the fear that a state could — or already has — killed an innocent person.
Yearly executions in the U.S. have decreased by more than 50 percent since 1999, when 98 people were put to death — the most since the Supreme Court placed an effective moratorium on capital punishment in 1972, and reaffirmed its legality in 1976.
Last year, 43 convicts were executed in a total of nine states, even though 33 states allow the death penalty and more than 3,000 inmates are on death row nationwide. The practice has been abolished in 17 states and the District, with five of those states — New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Connecticut and Illinois — banning it in the past five years.
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About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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