Death Penalty Opponents Fail to Gather Necessary Signatures to Petition the Issue to the Ballot
Washington DC (5/31/13) – Proponents of an initiative that would have revived the death penalty in Maryland just announced that they were not able to muster enough support to meet the minimum threshold of signatures due today. “The people of Maryland have spoken,” said Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. “Voters are standing behind the decision by their elected officials to abolish the state’s death penalty.”
Under Maryland law, opponents of Maryland’s new death penalty repeal law had until May 31st to collect 18,500 signatures from registered voters to petition for a referendum on the issue in the November 2014 election. If they had met that initial deadline, they would have had until June 30th to gather another 37,157 valid signatures.
Rust-Tierney remarked, “The question is now settled. The state now can and should focus on the things that are most important—creating safe communities with strong violence prevention programs, more resources for education, and supporting families harmed by crime and violence.”
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. We are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Our members include families of murder victims, people across the political and religious spectrum, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.
In January 2014, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty launched the 90 Million Strong Campaign to partner with and mobilize a growing number of national organizations and individuals who believe that it is time for the death penalty to end.