Courtesy Citybizlist – One week after the Maryland Senate passed a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, the House of Delegates is poised to do the same.
But in spite of the expected success of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill to abolish capital punishment, there are Republicans and Democrats in the House still arguing that Maryland should be able to sentence to death the worst of the worst, such as people who enter schools and murder children and teachers.
A number of them intend to offer amendments to that effect starting Wednesday.
Amendments to keep the death penalty for contract killings and the murder of a law enforcement officer or correctional facility guard in the line of duty — among others — failed in the House Judiciary Committee last week. Many are expected to be debated again before the entire House.
Delegate Michael McDermott, R-Wicomico, will reintroduce an emotionally charged amendment Wednesday that would allow the state to pursue the death penalty for people who commit murders on school grounds, such as the case involving the young man, Adam Lanza, who shot and killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in December.
Delegate Michael Smigiel, R-Cecil, said Friday the General Assembly is creating gun control legislation as a result of school shootings, “and here is an amendment that will punish the person.”