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March 22 2011 | UNITED STATES


Will Maryland follow Illinois's lead and abolish the death penalty?

printable version

Washington Post


ILLINOIS THIS WEEK became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty.
Maryland should become the 17th.

Capital punishment is a barbaric tool that ill serves the state and its residents. The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, which conducted a comprehensive study in 2008, concluded that the penalty has little deterrent effect and that the extended legal proceedings add to the anguish felt by the victim's family. Seeking the death penalty inflates by millions of dollars the expenses to process these complicated cases - millions that the financially strapped state can ill afford. Capital punishment is applied inconsistently across the state, and prosecutors are more likely to pursue a death sentence if the victim is white.
As a practical matter, capital punishment has not been an important or commonly used tool for law enforcement officials in Maryland. The state has executed only 5 prisoners since the 1970s, and only 5 inmates sit on death row today. Since 1974, when the death penalty was reinstated nationwide, some 140 prisoners have been exonerated, including Kirk Bloodsworth, who spent nearly 9 years on Maryland's death row before DNA evidence proved he was not guilty of a murder.
 Changes in Maryland law in 2009 have made it more difficult for prosecutors to seek the death penalty by, for example, prohibiting capital charges in cases that lack DNA or biological evidence and requiring videotaped evidence of a suspect's alleged confession before it may be admitted in court. This was undoubtedly a step forward, but it's no substitute for abolition.
After narrowly failing 2 years ago to repeal capital punishment, the legislature is again poised to tackle the issue. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up a repeal bill sponsored by Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-Baltimore).
 There is reason for hope. Mr. Rosenberg says he has commitments from 71 delegates and 24 senators who support the measure - enough votes to carry the day if the measures reach the floor of the respective chambers. Legislators should be given the chance to vote and send the long-overdue repeal to Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who has said he would sign it.

October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
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June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
May 14 2016
La Stampa

Pena di morte, Pfizer blocca l’uso dei suoi farmaci per le iniezioni letali negli Usa
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