WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland House Approves Death Penalty Repeal

Play associated audio
There is still some disagreement about the likelihood of a death penalty repeal going up for referendum.
Matt Bush
There is still some disagreement about the likelihood of a death penalty repeal going up for referendum.

Update: 2:24 p.m.: The Maryland House of Delegates has voted 82-56 to repeal the death penalty. The measure now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it.

Earlier story:

The Maryland House is expected to approve a repeal of the death penalty today. Since the Senate has already passed it, the measure would head to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who will sign it after seeking the repeal during his six years in office.

A voter referendum next year on the repeal seems likely, though Montgomery County Democratic senator Jamie Raskin isn't so sure. He supports the repeal.

"It costs millions of dollars extra to prosecute these cases," Raskin says. "And we'd be much better off putting that money into assistance to families of crime victims and other crime fighting measures. I think the public will also be persuaded of that."

Just last fall, Maryland voters decided four high-profile referenda — three of which made the ballot thanks to the website MDPetitions.com. Republican delegate Neil Parrott of western Maryland founded that site. He says right now he's unsure whether he will push petitions to get the death penalty repeal on the ballot.

"The problem that we have is that so much controversial legislation by this governor and the Annapolis elite that they're just not listening to the people," Parrott says. "So that is forcing more referenda than in the past."

A referendum could also be in doubt because of bills this session that would make petitioning a ballot question more difficult. Supporters of those measures, almost all Democrats, say that in the online age, the petitioning threshold to meet has become too easy to achieve.


ABC Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

ABC will air "It's Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown" Monday night. On the classic Christmas cartoon's golden anniversary, NPR explores what makes this ageless special endure.

L.A.'s Top Restaurant Charts New Waters In Sustainable Seafood

Providence is widely considered the finest restaurant in Los Angeles. Its award-winning chef, Michael Cimarusti, is piloting Dock to Dish, a program that hooks chefs up directly with local fishermen.
WAMU 88.5

U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes On How Money Influences Politics, Locally And Nationally

One of Maryland's federal lawmakers is behind some new ideas about campaign finance reform that have stalled in Congress, but are being taken up by local legislatures, including D.C.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Computer Guys and Gal sort out all the latest technology news from the last month.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.