O'Malley targeting Maryland death penalty

Jan. 16, 2009 at 2:49 PM

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says he intends to do all he can to do away with the death penalty in his state before the end of his term.

Entering into the second half of his elected term, O'Malley said this week that he will sponsor a bill that will help end acts of capital punishment throughout Maryland, The Washington Post said Friday.

"I'm going to lobby people on the merits of the issue," O'Malley said Thursday. "I just feel personally compelled to try."

The governor said he intends to lobby General Assembly members during their current 90-day legislation session in an attempt to get them to pass a repeal bill on capital punishment.

O'Malley claims the death penalty can lead to innocent people being executed for crimes they did not commit.

"That risk alone should be enough to repeal it and substitute it with life without parole," the state official said.

The Post said O'Malley, whose state has executed five people since 1978, also claims capital punishment is not a proven deterrent to crime and is a waste of valuable resources that could be used elsewhere.

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