Thousands Sign Letter to Maryland Legislators Calling on them to Pass Death Penalty Repeal Law
Washington DC (1/28/13)—National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is calling on the members of the Maryland General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 276/House Bill 295: Death Penalty Repeal and Appropriation of the Savings to Aid Survivors of Homicide Victims. A key provision of the legislation sets aside funds to provide better services to the families of homicide victims in Maryland.
In conjunction with the Death Penalty Repeal Lobby Day and Rally organized with coalition partners in Annapolis, the National Coalition mobilized thousands of supporters to participate in a “virtual lobby day”. Participants in this virtual lobby day signed an open letter to Maryland lawmakers which will be hand-delivered this evening during the legislative visits.
Supporters of the death penalty repeal measure expect that its passage in Maryland will send a message to the diminishing number of states and localities that continue to use capital punishment. We can no longer continue the status quo of unfairness inherent in the capital punishment system. We cannot continue to sentence innocent people to death or impose death sentences on the basis of race or ethnicity. We cannot impose death sentences when defendants are not provided with a proper defense by competent counsel. We cannot spend money on a system that isn’t working while the needs of crime victims go unmet.
In taking the historic step to abolish the death penalty in Maryland, lawmakers would set in motion a higher standard for justice—one that prioritizes providing support and services to homicide survivors. Favorable action on repeal legislation in Maryland would make it the 6th state in 6 years to end capital punishment and the 18 state without the death penalty.
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.