Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 15, 2013

NAACP, O’Malley call for death penalty repeal

Potential swing vote on Senate panel questions need for speed

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tuesday he believes the Maryland General Assembly has the will to ban capital punishment this session, voicing renewed confidence that repeal is within reach after his last effort stalled in 2009.

That year, the Senate voted instead to limit the cases in which capital punishment can be applied.  

“I believe that there is the will in the Senate, and I also believe that there is the will in the House,” the governor said Tuesday, when asked if he had the votes at a news conference.

O’Malley spoke at a news conference Tuesday with the CEO of the NAACP, lawmakers and repeal advocates who cited racial disparities in the application of the death penalty.

Benjamin Jealous, CEO of the National Association for the Ad-vancement of Colored People, said he hopes the push to repeal in Maryland will help build support to end executions in other states.

“The death penalty has failed our state. It is broken beyond repair, but it was broken from birth,” Jealous said.

It will likely be a close vote.

Sen. Robert Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, is the potential swing vote on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, where the bill has been bottled up.

Zirkin said he is keeping an open mind, but he questions why action is needed this year. He noted that compromise legislation was passed in 2009 to limit the death penalty to murder cases with biological evidence such as DNA, videotaped evidence of a murder or a videotaped confession. However, he also said he questions whether the state should be in the business of putting people to death.

“I am undecided on my vote and torn on the issue,” Zirkin said Tuesday. “I’ve always been that way and continue to be that way.”

O’Malley, a Democrat, described the death penalty as an expensive and failed policy. The governor cited moral as well as practical arguments for repeal. He said the majority of executions take place in five countries: Iran, North Korea, China, Yemen and the United States, while 141 countries have abolished capital punishment. O’Malley said: “In whose company do we choose to walk forward?”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014

Facebook
Must Read
News related video