Cumberland Times-News

Local News

March 8, 2013

House panel approves death penalty repeal bill

Legislation now moves to House of Delegates floor

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill to end the death penalty moved one step closer to becoming law Friday when a House committee passed the measure in a 14-8 vote.

The bill, already passed by the Senate, now moves to the House floor, where it is also expected to pass.

Lawmakers backing the bill rejected several amendments that would have maintained the death penalty in some cases, including acts of terrorism, for mass murderers and for kidnappers who kill.

“We cannot have a partial repeal of the death penalty,” said Delegate Samuel Rosenberg, a Baltimore City Democrat who voted in favor of the legislation.

Supporters of the repeal insisted that capital punishment is costly, prone to error, racially biased and a poor deterrent of crime.

Those in favor of capital punishment argued that the death penalty was a deterrent of crime and a necessary option for punishing criminals who commit heinous acts of violence.

“We need to have the death penalty to protect all of our citizens from the worst of the worst,” said Delegate Susan K. McComas, a Harford County Republican. “I think we all have to ask ourselves: ‘Are we going to feel safer if we repeal the death penalty?”’

The vote by the House Judiciary Committee was mostly split down party lines with one Democrat, Delegate Kevin Kelly of Allegany County, joining seven Republicans on a “no” vote.

Maryland has five men on death row. The state’s last execution took place in 2005, during the administration of Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

Maryland’s death penalty has been on hold since a 2006 court ruling that the state’s lethal injection protocols weren’t properly approved by a legislative committee.

If passed, Maryland would become the 18th state to ban the death penalty. Connecticut did last year. Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York also have abolished it in recent years.

Text Only
Local News
  • BOSTON PERSEVERES Solemn tributes mark one-year anniversary of marathon attack

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two offers for former Footer Dye Works site

    Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority officials announced Tuesday that two proposals have been received for the development of the Footer Dye Works building.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation strengthens prison guard investigations

    Legislative efforts to improve prison security were overshadowed this year by marijuana and minimum wage bills, but supporters say they will help prevent another high-profile scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

    April 15, 2014

  • Maryland simplifies rules for domestic violence victims seeking issuance of protective orders

    People seeking protective orders for domestic violence should have an easier time proving the case for issuing an order after Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill into law that changes the standard of proof used in court.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mineral County students return to class Aug. 14

    The first bell of Mineral County’s 2014-2015 school year will ring on Aug. 14. That’s if the West Virginia Department of Education approves a calendar voted on by school system employees and approved unanimously by the Board of Education on Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Talk with Tennant Talk with Tennant

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PSC investigating five energy suppliers over high bill claims

    Winter electric bills hit many consumers hard, but most complaints to the Maryland Public Service Commission involved so-called variable rate contracts. While the contracts can result in savings, they can also hit consumers hard during times of high electrical demand.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cottontail sale Cottontail sale

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Latest warrant sweep results in 33 arrests

    The Cumberland Police Department’s Safe Streets latest warrant initiative resulted in 33 arrests last week with 36 warrants served.

    April 15, 2014

  • DANIEL RADKO Radko candidate for Mineral County Board of Education

    I am running for the Mineral County Board of Education. My goal is to continue to help students reach their potential. I have lived and worked my adult life in Mineral County as a special education teacher. My wife, Susan, is a community services manager in Mineral and Hampshire counties for the Department of Health and Human Services. We have two children; son Sean teaches social studies at Keyser High School and daughter Dr. Lindsay Knuth is an audiologist in Charlotte, N.C. We have a grandson Aidan who attends Keyser Primary School.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo