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Maryland’s broken death penalty
The Washington Post - March, 12 2012
On paper, Maryland courts are empowered to impose the death penalty in certain murder cases. In practice, the state’s death penalty is in remission. Five convicts remain on death row, and defendants can be prosecuted for capital murder and sentenced to death, but the state lacks any legal method of carrying out executions. No one has been put to death in Maryland since 2005.
That status quo seems acceptable to the power brokers in Annapolis, who would rather not add to a list of controversies that now includes legalizing same-sex marriage and subsidizing higher education for illegal immigrants.
But by ducking the issue, they are leaving in place a costly, inefficient, unjust and dysfunctional system that exacts a terrible toll on the families of murder victims. Rather than legislating and leading, state lawmakers are in denial.
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