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Petition To Put Death Penalty Repeal On The 2014 Ballot Fails

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — There will be no death penalty question on the November ballot.

Pat Warren reports the petition drive failed to clear the first hurdle.

On May 2, Gov. Martin O’Malley and legislative leaders signed the death penalty repeal into law.

Erricka Bridgeford, sister of a murder victim, says executing her brother’s killer was never an answer for her.

“Maryland is moving toward humanity and moving toward healing and moving toward being a place that we can be proud to say we work on our social justice issues. We don’t just make excuses and put band-aids on things,” she said.

Ripping off that band-aid opened a wound for death penalty supporters, who mounted a drive to petition the repeal to referendum. They fell short.

“We collected over 15,000 total signatures. This amount, however, is not enough to make the turn in that’s due tonight at midnight,” said Del. Neil Parrot, MDPetitions.com.

A total of 18,500 signatures were due by midnight.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger says opponents of the repeal have no recourse but to get a law passed reinstating the death penalty.

“It would require the legislation to get through the state and through the legislature and, of course, be signed by the governor. So it would require quite an effort,” Shellenberger said.

The repeal takes effect in October.

A drive to put Maryland’s new gun laws on the ballot continues.

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