Maryland House Approves Death Penalty Repeal | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.

NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Funding Homeland Security: Where Do We Go From Here?

President Obama late Friday signed a stopgap measure to keep the department running for another week, but the tussle over his executive action on immigration, linked to the funding, is not over yet.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

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