ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—This week the fight over the death penalty is back. Lawmakers will hear testimony on a bill to get rid of capital punishment in Maryland. Now there’s strong and surprising words on the controversial issue.

Adam May has more.

Praying for legislation. Opponents to the death penalty renew calls to end the punishment in Maryland. It comes just days before the General Assembly begins examining the controversial issue.

Baltimore’s archbishop made a little known confession during a prayer service aimed at increasing support to repeal the death penalty.

“I was for the death penalty most of my life, then I looked into it more deeply. And I realized as a man of faith and a Catholic, I had to take life more seriously and respect it more,” said Archbishop Edwin O’Brien. “The death penalty is not only injustice and expensive, but it doesn’t deter crime.”

Debate will begin this week on a bill that would end the death penalty in Maryland.

It has the support of Gov. Martin O’Malley, but the Senate president opposes it.

“There was a crime in Baltimore where a guy killed a shopkeeper and locked him in a freezer with a little child overnight with his dead dad in a freezer.  Someone who commits a crime like that deserves the death penalty,” said Sen. President Mike Miller, (D) Maryland.

But a woman in the crowd—still hoping her brother’s killer is caught—does not want capital justice.

“We would want it to be a time of healing for everybody, not a time to continue violence because that doesn’t honor my brother,” said Erica Bridgeford, death penalty opponent.

“I spent almost nine years in prison for a crime I didn’t commit, and for that reason alone, the death penalty should be done away with,” said Kirk Bloodsworth, who was proven innocent.

Just a few days ago, Illinois repealed its death penalty. Governor Patt Quinn said it was wasting millions of tax dollars.

Comments (25)
  1. Tracey Reitterer says:

    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

  2. felicia says:

    Well said Tracey. Personally I’m tired of my tax dollars paying for a murderer to sit in prison and get 3 meals, exercise, an education and a bed. It is so unfair. If they kill they too should die. there is no use for them on our streets. And you are right. If the death penalty was enforced that would deter crime.. If not, oh well.

    1. Josh says:

      the death penalty for a prisoner is actually more expensive than him being held in prison for life

  3. Leigh Ann Erdman says:

    …so we should pay taxes to house them for the rest of their lives with cable tv, free health care, educational benefits, either way we pay for them. Justice delayed is not justice at all and it definitely is not a deal for anyone but the criminal.

  4. Tracey Reitterer says:

    I don’t advocate taking someone’s life lightly, but when you’ve executed your free will to harm another person by any means other than justifiable self-defense, I believe you have forfeited your right to live. It really angers me that our courts would resort to making deals with defendants accused of depraved crimes, because defendants “rights” are deemed more important than the rights of their victims. Why should we, as a nation, worry so much about the “pain” involved in the carrying out executions? God knows being peacefully put to sleep with an injection in the arm is no where near the level of pain most victims feel as they are being raped and murdered in some of the most vile and despicable ways people can find to do harm to one another. Why should violent offenders get a 2nd chance? Why should society have to live in fear of them getting out and causing harm once again? Why should they be allowed to remain alive behind prison walls where they can visit with their loved ones, tie up the courts endlessly appealing their cases for decades on end, one day being turned loose due to plea bargains or technicalities, escape, or murder from the inside, putting security guards and other officials at risk who are only doing their jobs, etc. And last but certainly not least, why should honest, law abiding citizens have to pay taxes to keep violent offenders alive with room, board, meals, health care, entertainment, education and the ability to turn around and sue the system that put them away to begin with?? My heart especially goes out to the deceased crime victims families – why should they work all their lives to pay taxes to support those vicious offenders who murdered their loved ones? How insane is that logic??

  5. East Coast says:

    If liberal thinkers in this embarrassment of a state have it their way, killers will get posh, luxurious cells with every comfort. The murdered victim’s family? Anguish and a lifetime of visiting a cemetery or looking at an urn containing what’s left of the promise of their life. How can these people justify that a man who rapes, kills and dismembers a little girl should get to live? The reason why it doesn’t deter crime is that it takes them a lifetime to actually get around and kill the trash. Execute them more quickly and you’ll have a deterrent. I will always support the death penalty, but the lame government will do away with it. What a joke MD is.

  6. Baltimorebob says:

    Well I truly think if you take someones life and you are found guilty u should not have the right to see another day why should u be allowed to eat and breath the other person in your crime can not bottom line if you addmit you are guilty and found guilty then you die at sundown and may god have mercy on your soul the end !!!!!

  7. jim says:

    I am tired of a few people trying to change the law. Iam for the death penalty and should be used alot more than it has. IF people want to change the then it should be put to vote by the hole state not just a few.

  8. pasfd says:

    I agree Jim, the reason crime is so high is because somone can kill a child & take a deal for 15 yrs & then be out on the street again to kill & around all of our children grandchildren. If they can take a life then why should they get to live? The only time they use the death penalty is if tey are sure that the person comminted the crime & if it is serious like a serial rapist or muderer. I think they are to light on convicts anyways. If you kill someone & it was not an accident, you should be killed. Why have people who r rapist especially child rapist & killers eating, sleeping, bathing & doing all the things that their victims can no longer do? & on top of it have us as tax payers paying for them to do that stuff.

  9. Cathy says:

    I have always been against the death penalty,only because it does not bring closure when people die they go to a good place so half of these criminals doe not care anyway,and I also agree that our tax money pays for that so ,here is
    what I propose,send all the criminals over seas to fight, and let out=r men stay here.

  10. An eye for an eye. I cant say anything better than Tracey did so I will leave it at that. It could be YOUR little girl (or boy) scared to death under the hands of a sex offender or murderer so think about that before you bleeding hearts cry that these animals have the right to anything.

  11. JOYCECUDA says:


  12. Sherry says:

    Doing away with the Death Penalty is attrocious. There are people who do not deserve to live for things they have done. I could care less who has to pay for it. I want to know that if you murder rape or hurt another human bieng intentionally I will not have to worry about you doing it again in 5 years when you get out. It is an illusion that the death penalty does not deter crime. If you are not around to commit another crime that is a deterent. It may not stop other people but hey that is one less criminal i have to worry about being around my children. All these criminals know the jails are over crowded and they know they will plea bargin down and get a couple years and be back out.

  13. steve says:

    I have know respect for Martin O’Malley who is exceptionally soft as a Governor. We need a Governor who is going to protect Md. citizens. The death penalty is not about money or deterrance, it’s about punishment and some criminals require the ultimate punishment which is death for heinous crimes against the innocnent. I wonder how Martin O’Malley would feel if someone raped, tortured and dismembered his daughter? I wonder how he would feel if he found his wife in a dumpster? Maryland has no place for “soft” politicians when it comes to public safety.

  14. Qubus says:

    For me the question is elementary: anyone who takes their own morailty seriously could never support the death penalty. If you agree that’s it wrong to murder, then you have to agree it’s wrong to murder anyone. Anything less is a lethal hypocrisy.

    One of the most disturbing qualities of the death penalty is that it’s used as an instrument of revenge. Personally, I think it’s sick that the families of victims are invited to watch someone be put to death. It’s almost like a form of pornography. It gives me a chill just to think of it. The purpose of criminal justice is to protect society as a whole, not to gratify those few whose lives have been affected by a private loss.

    There are a lot of good reasons to end the death penalty. Hopefully the question can be raised on a federal level so we can be rid of it once and for all.

    1. whatnow says:

      Criminal justice would be protecting society as a whole if they actually started putting murderers to death instead of just threatening too. Unless it is used, it cannot be a deterrent. If it is used and becomes a deterrent, the next innocent life saved may be someone you love.

    2. sherry says:

      Really? I DO value my mortality very much, which is why i want these low life criminals who rapre murder and abuse people to be put to death! I certainly dont want them in my neighborhood. Hey you want to pay for them and have to worry wether they will escape and show up at your house, no thanks. I would rather them be dead and since I grew up with someone who was murdered while she was at work by a complete stranger. The day he was executed i slept better than I had in months maybe a year. He was the last peson executed in the state of MD look up the case and see what he did to two young people who had their entire lives ahead of them, maybe then you will realize that some people are better off dead so that the rest of us can go on with our own mortality and maybe not have to go through what other people do. I dont care if it is revenge or not some people deserve the death penalty like it or not.

    3. space oddity says:

      Ridding society of a murderer from society is not murder. The nutcase in Arizona, for instance, killed 9 people, caught in the act, should have never left the scene alive. No reasonable doubt, caught in the act. And there will be bleeding hearts who will defend that monster’s “rights”.

    4. urnotfunny says:

      Seriously, have YOU ever been a victim of crime Qubus?

  15. steve says:

    @Qubus: What in the world are you talking about? This has absolutely nothing to do with morality. This is about protection and punishment; not morality. I pose the same question to you: What would be your feeling if someone violently murdered a family member of yours? Supposed they did it right in front of you? Would your moral thinking come into play then? Or is it alright to think morally as long as it’s not your family member? How can you relate the support for the death penalty to pornography…Are you kidding me? Maryland has a high murder rate and we need to do away with the murderers like Texas and Florida. These states make killers pay with their lives unlike Maryland who has a very soft heart for killers. Maybe we should allow a rapist killer to move next door to you?

  16. Tasha713 says:

    Stop the years and years of appeals and then the dealth penalty would be a deterrent! Instead of abolishing the death penalty, have a fast track like Texas and bring back public hangings!

    1. urnotfunny says:

      Agree with Tasha completely. Please explain how keeping a criminal in jail for the rest of his/her life is more cost effective. This is one of the most bleeding heart liberal states around. Murderers can repeat offenses over and over and still run the streets. You morons downtown in Annapolis better fix this pathetic judicial system that causes people like me to support the death penalty. You won’t even fix what is completely broken that causes people to get the death penalty. You’re a complete joke and I’m sick of my taxpayer dollars pay for these criminals to live out their lives with meals and exercise and tvs and God knows what else.

  17. tomthebomb says:

    one of the worst governors we have ever had in my 75 years of living in md. he is a wimp as he wants to abolish the death penalty. thank god i now live in florida where they are executed and we can carry a concealed weapon.

  18. George Mouring says:

    I don’t think they should abolish the death penalty. They should abolish the process that takes it so long to happen.

  19. Scott's County says:

    Maryland is so Liberal that I just can’t stand it! First, they make laws making gun buying more difficult for law-abiding citizens, this came this gay marriage atrocity–now, they want to allow even the most vile vicious murderers to live to victimize again. There is nothing wrong with executing evil dangerous human beings–nothing wrong at all. Just evenly apply the death peanalty to all races and both sexes and make laws guaranteeing no racial desparity. Just kill the criminal murders!

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