Death Penalty Opponents Continue Push For Repeal

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Repeal the death penalty.  That’s the message members of the General Asssembly heard Tuesday as death penalty opponents once again try to make their case.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the arguments made Tuesday.

The death penalty is another highly emotional issue in Annapolis that doesn’t line up along party lines but personal beliefs.

Maryland death penalty opponents have a message: never say die—not to the cause and not to the convicts.

“The only thing that should die is the death penalty,” said Kurt Bloodsworth.

Bloodsworth, a former death row inmate, was exonerated by DNA.  He was joined Tuesday by Vickie Schieber, whose campaign against capital punishment is in memory of her daughter.

“A beautiful, brilliant, talented girl raped and strangled to death,” Schieber said.

Still, she doesn’t believe in the death penalty.  Neither does Governor Martin O’Malley, who led a 2009 campaign against it.

“A knowledgeable person asked if I had 24 votes.  I said I had 22 and maybe the Holy Spirit can come  up with the other two.  Let’s give him a shot,” O’Malley said.

The result was a radical change in Maryland’s death penalty law, but it still hasn’t been repealed.  Its supporters are still unmoved.  Nor may it be repealed this session. 

“So far, we’ve been successful,” said Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County State’s Attorney.

But opponents see no reason to stop trying. It’s a question of faith and politics.

“It would be like our names being on that death warrant,” Scheiber said.

There are more than 60 sponsors of the bill in the House and it could pass there. The trick will be to get it through the Senate.  The Senate has not heard the bill yet.

More from Pat Warren
  • Ex-Baltimore

    Oh, sure! With a woman viciously raped and beaten to death in Bethesda and her co-worker tied up and raped, I’m sure the Ultra-Liberal socialist who run Maryland just can’t wait for the assailants in the above atrocity committed against innocent civilians to end up in the luxury prison that they will provide. Let me see, lobster and steak dinners, cell phones, gang membership, sex and drugs from corrupt guards. Oh, yeah. The great life of a Maryland criminal in the criminal paradise that is the state of Maryland and the vile city of Baltimore. Hey, criminals: come to Maryland! You are loved here.

  • KottaMan

    Anyone NOT in favor of the death penalty is a complete fool and an idiot. There are some criminals out here that are just EVIL and cannot be rehabilitated. Wake up you bleeding hearts. You or your family may be next.

  • Perry

    i say if the person is against the death penalty, then get a job as a corrections officer working inside the prison that harbors these people. your views on the death penalty will change!!!!

  • jim

    And I say put up for a VOTE in then fall of 2012 and take it out of the our dear gov hands LET THE PEOPLE MAKE THE CHOICE!!!!!!!!

  • Baltumorebob

    Hey there,goes the morons again pass all the bills that will cist us tax payers more money so in that also the bill that let illiegls get a free ride on are tax $ so I say the pwrfect soultiin to the primblem should be first u are found guilty of murderbottom line dead next day you found not to be a us cirizen u are sent back and just thk of all the taxes u save u can put it to good use

  • steve

    I usually don’t comment on these things, but this makes me sick! Just another disgusting liberal swipe at justice and deterrence! A landmark Emory University study has established that for every execution 18 innocent lives are saved via deterrence. Common sense also confirms this notion. Of course no system of anything in the world is ever going to be absolutely perfect all of the time, that goes without saying, yet we still regularly ride in cars, and so forth despite the relatively high amount of danger there. Is any decent, law abiding citizen actually and seriously afraid of running the full course of the justice system and receiving the death penalty for a murder he/she did not commit? I would bet the average citizen would like the extra layer of protection against a potential killer for himself and his community. Just simply tacking on more jail time is not adequate in a great number of scenarios. If the death penalty is not a deterrent it is only because it is not carried out in a swift, certain, and severe manner; or there are other variables involved. I bet this criminal coddling governor never had anyone in his own family murdered. It is a proportional punishment, and it’s time we actually start thinking about the victims, potential victims, and their families, and a little less about vicious murderers.

  • Worried for Maryland

    Owe Malley is simply the worst Gov. in history! Maryland, once a proud state is now a huge socialist mess! With all of the murders everyday in Baltimore and elsewhere, his reply is to abolish the state’s already weak death penalty – (only 5 executions in the last 33 yrs.) He is also quite the hypocrite – says he opposes the death penalty because he is Catholic, yet he advocates for gay marriage. But that’s beside the point. The death penalty is a deterrent, and when the Supreme Ct. banned it, murder rates skyrocketed. It is only expensive because lib politicians make it that way. You can’t put a price on justice, and justice dictates that the punishment should fit the crime.

  • Ex-Baltimore

    Agreed! O’ Malley made it more difficult to buy a gun legally to protect myself, but criminals can get their guns in just a few seconds off the streets of Baltimore. Also, we are allowing tens of thousands of illegals to come here and add to the huge amount of poor people already here. In addition, Maryland nearly sanctioned sodomizing gays to get married! What the F—K is wrong with this state? I’m worried for Maryland too. It’s becoming an Ultra-Liberal cesspool. From the state that brought you “Stop Snitching” to inmates being able to carry out assassinations of witness via prison gangs with cell phones, now wants us to have to keep alive to feed, house, and give cable TV to the most vicious murderous criminals on the East Cost. I am so fed up with this Communist dictatorship of a state that I’m really considering moving to Texas. Will the last law-abiding non-gay people please take down the flag and join me in the Lone Star State?

  • Tracey Reitterer

    NO 2ND CHANCES FOR SEX OFFENDERS, RAPISTS, MURDERERS OR ANY OTHER VIOLENT OFFENDERS! The 2nd time around may be your child or loved one. ENFORCE THE DEATH PENALTY! If the thought of losing your freedom or life isn’t enough to deter criminals, let them die for their heinous crimes against the innocent.

    Someone once said, “Victims have a dignitary interest in justice and vindication without interminable delay caused by guilty prisoners attempts to stave off punishment.” To that, I say, AMEN.

    “Too much mercy, often resulted in further crimes which were fatal to innocent victims who need not have been victims if justice had been put first and mercy second.” – Agatha Christie

  • harumph

    Let’s see – all the folks who think the Government is incompetent also want said bad Government to make the decisions about which of it’s citizens it should kill – um, ok…

    Death is an easy escape, not a punishment. Get the victimless crime offenders that clog the system out of the jails and put the actual violent criminals to hard labor/real punishment.

  • Maryland Cares ! (About their Murderers)

    Another liberal fallacy ! If the death penalty is “not so bad,” then why the endless apeals from death row – trying to have the sentance commuted to life w/o parole? The death penalty is so weak now in Maryland that even Bin Laden would not be able to be convicted under it. Murderers usually don’t video tape their crimes – and even if they did it would be argued that the tape was tampered with, or that the DNA evidence was not propery collected. Even multiple eyewitnesses would not be good enough. The liberals should just be honest and admit they have no backbone and just want to end the death penalty. Remember when it was “racist”, or that the murderer is just a “victim of society”, it’s just excuse after exuse.

  • mary

    I worked at Patuxent Inst for 3 yrs. They are the best of the bad. Some for most of their lives know…killing is what they do…and we cant put them in the Military so they must die. They know it. While under 50 they dont like it, but after 50 they expect it. They have a horrid existence in there. Death helps end it.

  • angie

    I have always and will always believe that when someone has the nerve to think they have the right to take someones life, then theirs should be taken as well. There’s no reason why the convict should be breathing if innocent families lose their loved ones to these low life people.

    I can guarantee the crime rates will rise dramatically if the death penalty isn’t allowed. They will receive 3 square meals a day with recess and rest. WOW. The families can’t rest, and the people these convicts kill will never see their familes or friends again. But the convicts will. :(

  • Sad Times for MD

    When the demographic that loves you the most are murderers – you’ve officially failed as Governor. Owe Malley IS the worst! But what do you expect when the state’s politics are totally dictated by inner city Baltimore and the D.C. area? They will never elect exactly what they need – a pro-economic growth, tough on crime Republican. Another thing, isn’t it funny how these tax and spend liberals all of the sudden become fiscal conservatives when it comes to justice? They are the types that make the death penalty expensive to begin with.

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