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Death penalty repeal is as good as final in Maryland

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Praised be all legislators and the governor in Maryland for making the state’s death penalty repeal a reality, to be signed this week into law, I expect.

I first blogged on this story on March 6 after the state senate passed the repeal of the death penalty, which is a relic of the dark ages that still not only continues on the books of many states and at the federal level, but continues being practiced. Two days ago, Maryland’s House of Delegates approved death penalty repeal. Praised be Governor O’Malley for having placed death penalty repeal high on his agenda, despite the support of the death penalty in the state, by one recent account in the Washington Post, by at least sixty percent of voters.

The Bill of Rights prevents runaway trampling on civil liberties by the majority. The death penalty, in my view, violates the Bill of Rights’/Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment (U.S. Const. Amend. VIII) and deprivation of life and liberty without due process (U.S. Const. Amend. V). Besides the Constitution, I strongly believe that the death penalty is violence that helps beget more violence; is an ineffective deterrent against murder and other crimes other than incapacitating the accused; and that it sends a wrongheaded message about the state’s killing convicted criminals to show that killing is wrong.

Federal law maintains the death penalty, which enables federal prosecutors to find ways to take over murder prosecutions in states that do not have the death penalty. The federal death penalty also must be repealed.