Opponents Say Md. Death Penalty Doesn’t Help Victims’ Families

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Calls to repeal the Maryland death penalty are met with opposition…again. Lawmakers in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee are hearing testimony on capital punishment.

As Pat Warren reports, this year’s debate focuses on victims’ families.

The movie “Dead Man Walking” is based on the personal experience of Sister Helen Prejean, whose relationship with a death row inmate brings her to Maryland to lobby for repeal.

This year’s bill in the Senate would spend state resources on recovery for victims’ families rather than executions.

“The death penalty doesn’t help victims’ families. First of all, it’s so few of them and you never do it. So what it does then is release that energy of that money into healing help for victims’ families,” said Prejean, advocate for repeal.

Martin Price, whose father killed two of his family members, is among those testifying in favor of repealing the death penalty.

“If anyone felt that someone deserved the death penalty it was me,” Price said.

Price changed his mind, but others haven’t.

“You need to have the ultimate punishment available when people commit the ultimate crime,” said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

He is among those who support the death penalty, particularly since new restrictions limit the use of it.

“That should have convinced everyone that we have a restrictive statute. We’re very careful in how we use it, and therefore I’m down here today to say don’t change anything,” Shellenberger said.

A bill for repeal is also in the House, but, as always, the real hurdle is the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

More from Pat Warren
  • bananafish6726

    The death penalty is not intended to help victims’ families. It is intended to punish to condemned, and very severely. Perhaps, if the left is concerned with victims’ families, we could go back to the Middle Ages, when the offender’s families possessions were confiscated, and some were awarded to the victim’s families. Or, is this about something else?

    • rdnkkkgrl

      lol i have no clue that cracked me up i say we take all the criminals out back tie em up to an old oak tree n fill em w/buckshot…hell yeah i support the death penalty at least our tax money wont cover food water and beds to sleep in in a jail

      • Wiseguy

        Just have public executions…….charge admission…………sell drinks and food………Maybe then our wonderful polititions won’t keep trying to TAX every thing under the sun.

  • wow

    They allow murderers to walk free every day because the jails are overcrowded. Please explain to me why we CAN’T execute murderers?

  • short stack

    maybe so but it can’t hurt

  • smart

    more lib votes for Owe’Malley the Taxman

  • http://diamond414x.wordpress.com diamond414x

    O’Malley is ready to commute to more lifer’s sentences. LIFE SHOULD MEAN LIFE. So much for truth in sentencing – but isn’t that always the way.

    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.
    “Victims have a dignitary interest in justice & vindication without interminable delay caused by guilty prisoners attempts to stave off punishment.”
    “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

  • jim

    There in for 20 years and they let them out for what to kill again!!!!!!
    If O malley wants to let them out mabe they need to live at his house!!!!!!!

  • RavenLude

    this state is so pathetic…….yes some people have been sentenced to death and were innocent of the crime they were found guilty of. but lets be honest, the majority of them did the heinous crimes, the evidence is far beyond reasonable doubt, and they are the most violent humans walking earth. in those cases, there should be immediate execution, no appeal, no rally protesting it by liberal flakes, no wasted tax payer money, just eradicate a violent individual forever.

  • MJH

    Hey Wiseguy I said that very same thing when the city was looking for something to do with Memorial Stadium. You could convict them one week and execute them on to the infield of the Stadium the next week in front of what I believe would be a packed house. Hotdogs, Soda and Beer you could even balance the buget or repair some schools off the proceeds. Save money by not caring for the convicted and make money off excuting them in front everyone who buys a ticket. I tell you people would think twice about the crimes they commit if they were afraid of execution the week after conviction. And if you get it wrong once in awhile so be it

  • peter o neil

    We would all get tired of seeing N***r’s DIE.

  • happyjack

    Build a wall around the city & that should keep all the tree jumpers in check. No need to build more prisons. Make the wall electrically charged that if touched, zap, you have crispy fried coon for dinner.

  • Larry26

    I have an idea. Why not make the death penalty proponents responsible for the people on death row, their hospitalization, the food, insurance, room and board, etc. That way the honest citizens of Maryland will not have that on them. When there is DNA evidence, confessions, or video and audio of the crime, there should be no appeal and the execution should be carried out within 30 days. Sister is wrong. Why should taxpayers be responsible for these low lifes. They have taken the life of another and now they think that they should not be executed by the State. How chummy.

  • Joe

    What death penalty? This thug-hugging liberal state only executed 5 murderers over the last 40 years. Don’t these anti-death penalty people have a better ‘charity’ that they can work for. This article is a joke – most of the families of murder victims would clearly want the death penalty for the killer. Keep the DP, limit appeals, and start using it!

  • Tom

    As long as there are liberal politicians there is no such thing as life without the chance of parole.

  • Kelly

    Watch the liberals in Annapolis once again listen more to a few left-wingers with signs than to the majority of their citizens. That’s how we gave tuition breaks to illegals and got gay marriage shoved down our throats.

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