BALTIMORE — Maryland death penalty supporters launched a petition drive Friday aimed at overturning the state’s newly signed repeal of capital punishment, while opponents vowed to campaign hard if the matter lands on the ballot next year.
Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger joined Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, and Sen. James Brochin, D-Baltimore County, to urge voters to sign a petition to put the question on the ballot in November 2014.
“We need to retain Maryland’s death penalty for those prosecutors who want to seek it in the appropriate case,” said Shellenberger, who successfully prosecuted a capital case in Baltimore County and has been a strong supporter of the death penalty. “Today, we are launching repeal the repeal. We want people, the people of the state of Maryland, to decide whether Maryland should have the death penalty.”
Shellenberger, Parrott and Brochin made the announcement from behind a red sign with the words “What If?” With the warehouse of Oriole Park at Camden Yards behind them, Parrott said the purpose of the sign was to ask state residents whether they would prefer to have the death penalty on the books for criminals guilty of the worst of the worst crimes.