Death Penalty Repeal Gains Traction
Maryland’s 2012 Legislative Session was a 90-day roller-coaster of success and disappointment.
Disappointment came when the repeal bill failed by one vote in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Meanwhile, the House of Delegates never took any action, despite clear majorities for repeal in committee and the full body.
Yet our successes during this year’s session give us hope for 2013. The media finally is reporting that death penalty repeal has majority support in both houses and the problem is legislative inaction. Editorials and opinions in the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, and the Gazette have blasted the General Assembly for its failure to act.
Maryland’s 2012 repeal bill was the first to include an appropriation to redirect some of the resulting savings to aid families of homicide victims.
This year’s bill had more cosponsors than ever before.
The campaign is having an impact and we are already mobilizing for 2013. Every postcard, every phone call, every face-to-face meeting with legislators is making a difference. We need to keep the pressure up through the summer and fall, amassing more citizen action and a loud buzz for passage of repeal in 2013.
2013 presents our last opportunity to move repeal before the 2014 election year, when it becomes even more likely the General Assembly will sideline big issues. Marylanders are ready. A majority in the legislature is ready. Our current governor will sign it.