No doubt still high off his recent same-sex marriage win, Gov. Martin O’Malley is considering another piece of progressive legislation to add to his legacy — a repeal of the death penalty. It’s something he’s tried unsuccessfully in the past, but capital punishment is gradually falling out of favor with the public. So there may be a chance.
However, if and when O’Malley makes a run for the presidency, abolishing capital punishment in Maryland may prove a dubious asset. According to the Washington Post, plenty of Democrats still favor letting God sort it out, as it were, and a repeal may place O’Malley too far to the left for national office.
Which would be a great irony given O’Malley’s almost dystopian “tough on crime” policies — including advocating for a youth jail in Baltimore despite the objections of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and having rejected all but two of the state Parole Commission’s recommendations of sentence commutations for prisoners serving life for murder.
By the way, while capital punishment remains on the books in Maryland, executions are currently on hiatus while the governor’s administration drags its feet implementing new regulations for the procedure required by a nearly six-year-old court ruling.
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