O’Malley Met To Discuss Not Funding Death Penalty

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Martin O’Malley, who opposes capital punishment, held a July meeting with two lawmakers and a death penalty opponent to discuss the possibility of ending funding for executions in the budget for the next fiscal year. But an O’Malley spokeswoman said Tuesday it is unlikely the governor will follow through with the idea.

“It’s not likely, but no final decision has been made,” Raquel Guillory said.

O’Malley’s scheduling records indicate the July 22 meeting was requested by Delegate Samuel Rosenberg, a Baltimore Democrat who has sponsored legislation to end capital punishment in Maryland.

“Purpose: To discuss the Death Penalty and to discuss the idea of defunding executions in 2013 fiscal year’s budget,” is how the governor’s schedule describes the meeting.

Rosenberg confirmed the meeting Tuesday, but he declined to mention specifics about what was said during the meeting, which the governor’s scheduling records indicate was scheduled for about 30 minutes. Rosenberg said Tuesday he plans to push for death penalty repeal legislation in the next session that begins in January.

“It was a positive meeting,” Rosenberg said. “I haven’t discussed it with the governor in any great detail since.”

The records indicate Sen. Lisa Gladden, a Baltimore Democrat who also opposes the death penalty, attended the meeting along with Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions. Rosenberg confirmed they attended as well.

Maryland’s death penalty has been in limbo since a 2006 Court of Appeals ruling about a month before O’Malley, a Democrat, entered office in January 2007. The state’s highest court found that the state’s lethal injection protocols weren’t properly approved by a legislative committee. Executions can’t resume until a new protocol is created for the committee to approve.

In February, the O’Malley administration withdrew proposed lethal injection rules from consideration by the legislative panel in order to review the regulations, because a lethal injection drug used in the process is no longer available for purchase in the United States.

Rick Binetti, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections, said Tuesday the administration’s review is still looking at options.

“We expect to have newly proposed regulations sometime in the early new year,” Binetti said.

Then, the regulations would go before the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review.

Maryland has five men on death row, and five inmates have been executed since Maryland reinstated the death penalty in 1978. Wesley Baker was the last person to be executed in Maryland, in December 2005.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • W74

    We’ll end funding for executions, but keeping them locked up behind bars year after year….that’s ok.

    We really need to bring back FIRING SQUADS and MISSISSIPPI WIND CHIMES. That’s the only way to truly deter crime. To be effective punishment must be harsh, swift and VISIBLE for all the people to see.

    I’m sick and tired of these namby pamby (and expensive) methods of execution and locking up thugs in five star resort spas. Not only do they don’t care, it’s an improvement for them. They love it, and it gives them additional ‘cred’ out on the street. Try giving cred to a dead thug, you can’t, and they won’t do it again.

    Guns, rope & oak trees, and stockades & tomatoes for lesser crimes. Only way to deter these thugs and let them know we mean business.

  • steve

    I agree with your opinion W74, but the problem is that we have a soft governor who is not looking out for the well being of the law abiding citizens of Md. Killers love Md. and always will as long as we have governors like O’Malley feeling sorry for them. How can you not support the Death Penalty when you have this many heinous murders taking place day in a day out in our state? How can you have a soft heart for these killers? What sickens me is that the people of Md. voted O’Malley in just because he is a Democrat. I am a Democrat and never voted for O’Malley because I knew what he stood for and what policies he supported. I believe in swift justices when there is no doubt that a person killed another (especially premeditated). I give the states of Texas and Florida a lot of credit. They make killers pay with their lives when they kill.

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