Anti-Death Penalty Advocates Celebrate Maryland Victory, Prepare for Next States
March 21, 2013 - Posted by Philomena Ogalo
With the passage last week of a bill to repeal the death penalty, Maryland will become the sixth state to end capital punishment in the last six years and the first below the Mason-Dixon Line.
The repeal was the culmination of a decades-long fight by anti-death penalty advocates to stop a practice that is prone to error and creates too much risk of citizens being wrongfully executed.
“With the death penalty, we squander precious resources in the false pursuit of a foolproof way of deciding who should live and who should die. These resources could be better used to prevent violence, hold people accountable and care for the survivors of homicide,” said Diann Rust-Tierney, executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP).
Advocates are hoping that the victory in Maryland is just the beginning of a broader national trend toward abolishing the death penalty. The NAACP, NCADP, Amnesty International and others will be turning to Colorado and Delaware where bills to end the death penalty have been recently introduced.
In a statement following the Maryland victory, Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, made clear the moral imperative for ending capital punishment: “Tomorrow we will wake up in a state where we will never again have to worry if someone is put to death because of their color, class or in spite of their innocence.”