Forum Thread

Maryland Kills the Death Penalty

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed legislation today that ended the death penalty there, making it the first state below the Mason-Dixon line to pass such legislation. Mr. O'Malley's signature made Maryland the 18th state to rid themselves of the death penalty.

    More and more states are realizing that the death penalty is not the way to go, especially after a multitude of studies showing the racial disparity in death penalty cases. Since 1977, roughly 77 percent of death row inmates have been sent there for killing white a victim when nearly half of all homicide victims are people of color. Not only that, but 140 individuals have been released from death row since 1973 after evidence came out that proved their innocence in the crime they were sentenced for. More often than not, the poor and mentally disabled at the ones that receive the short end of the stick because they often can't afford a lawyer and the mental health system in our country is in shambles.

    I fully understand that the death penalty is one of those subjects that brings out a strong flood of emotion from people on both sides of the issues. I personally am opposed to the death penalty, but I respect people that think differently on the issue. Thoughts on Maryland's move today and if more southern states might start following suit?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Thank God we have a new topic. Didn't mean to use the G word.
    Interesting....... I am personally in favor of the death penalty. I just feel that we need a deterrent. I am not in favor of the super high cost of warehousing convicts for 50 + years. I also think the appeals process should be done in 5 years. Maybe some see these positions as harsh. It's
    just my opinion. I would rather spend tax dollars helping seniors buy medicine instead of paying for cable TV for felons. While I'm on a rant......I
    would have non-violent prisoners cleaning up this country. Imagine a clean country.
    I am completely in favor of studies to evaluate who is being imprisoned and why. I personally believe most people commit crimes because they are in a very bad financial situation. Will the south follow suit ? I seriously doubt it. I could see the entire north making that change before even 25% of the south does. Hell in Texas I'm surprised it isn't televised on public access cable.
    Since we now have DNA technology, all prisoners should get that test before being executed. If it helps prove innocence or guilt. Most modern cases would have used that in the trial. If thre are disparities in racial sentencing....... then there should be a system to audit judges and their rulings.
  • Independent
    Ohio
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    Its different thats what we need. This will make America more authentic with differences that give different paths to outcomes. I personally believe in the Death Penalty for certain crimes.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    The death penalty should be reserved for the most heinious of crimes,crimes that have been proven beyond a doubt with hard evidence not circumstancial evidence, the crimes should be enumerated by Congress and not state by state,again only for the most greivious of crimes, other wise life without parole is a good start,perhaps with life in solitude,inso much as they took a life,absent a death penalty, this would be justice.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Do you think that Jodi Arias should get death?

    How about Castro from the Cleveland kidnappings?

    Pretty ..."heinious"... circumstances in both these cases. Arias has said that she wants to get death and has been found guilty in trial. Assuming that Castro is found guilty, should he get death as well?

    How about Kermit Gosnell, the Philly late term abortion doctor who was found guilty of first degree murder?

    Would it be ..."justice"... to put any or all of these to death? If a person believes in the death penalty, a good case for death can be made for all three.
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    Michigan has never had the death penalty thus we have never executed an innocent man like Texas and Illinois has. Some things you can't hit the redo button on.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Pa. has one of the highest death row populations in the country,something like 211, since 1962 there have been 3 executions, one,Gary Hydnik (mispelling?) dropped all of his appeals and demanded to be put to death,his crime was a well documented crime ,House of Horrors, the pit in the movie Silence of Lambs was based on his crime scene, the death penalty in this state is a joke,I see nothing wrong with these types of criminals being cut off completly from society,jail house society as well,if there is a death penalty,then use it, it is a deterrent for the murderers to not committ another murder as they will be dead,it was not intended,I think anyway,to prevent a murder but to punish a particular heinous crime, does the Gosnell case warrant the death penalty,hell yes, but if given the sentence of death,he will not be asked to pay the ultimate price because #1 his age,#2 he won't outlive the appeals process. Jodie Arias, just another crime of passion murder,life without parole will be sufficient,the nut that shot up the Sandy Hook school, no, because the Constitution does not allow for the execution of the deranged, that will be of course be a good legal battle, if the people in authority called the death penalty what it is and not what it isn't and that would be #1 its not a deterrent #2, its the unltimate form of punishment .
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    What about Castro? If found guilty of all he's accused of, I would argue that he's as deserving of the death penalty as the others.

    3 girls kidnapped, tortured, raped over a decade. Starving one girl then beating her until she lost her (and his) baby 5 times. The possible kidnapping and killing of the fourth girl. If found guilty of all that or even of MOST of that, I'd say he deserves death more than the other two.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Tthe differing opinions either for or against the death penalty gives credence to our form of criminal justice and that is the jury system, in the matter of a homicide with the ensuing death penalty phase, the twelve members of the panel must all agree on the first degree verdict as guilty and than they must again all agree on the death penalty as the price to pay, it would be up to them to make the decision whether or not a particular homicide rises to the level of a death sentence. it is a system with so many different flaws that it begs to be changed,but believe it or not the vast majority of times it works.
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    johnnycee Wrote: Tthe differing opinions either for or against the death penalty gives credence to our form of criminal justice and that is the jury system, in the matter of a homicide with the ensuing death penalty phase, the twelve members of the panel must all agree on the first degree verdict as guilty and than they must again all agree on the death penalty as the price to pay, it would be up to them to make the decision whether or not a particular homicide rises to the level of a death sentence. it is a system with so many different flaws that it begs to be changed,but believe it or not the vast majority of times it works.
    Unless you be in Texas.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I'm not up on Texas Law, are they more prosecution slanted or defense oriented?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    You still need 12 people to agree to sentence someone to death Texas. It just so happens that those 12 people tend to agree much, much more in Texas than in any other state.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Why is that?,do they interpet the criteria for the death sentence differently than other states?
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    the death penalty is one of those topics that will always generate strong opinions on both sides of the argument ..

    my opinion is that that there ARE some individuals who are a menace to society, and should be put to death for their heinous crimes ..

    however ...

    the death penalty is NOT an incentive NOT to commit a crime ..

    surprisingly ..

    it's actually cheaper to imprison a killer for the rest of his/her life than to execute him, due to the safeguards built into a legal system ..

    the link below provides a few more details, that you'll probably find of interest:

    http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2011/11/kill-em-all-and-let-god-sort-em-out.html

    the most relevant comment related to the death penalty was uttered by Sister Helen Prejean (of "Dead Man Walking" fame):

    “Government can’t be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of its citizens to kill”.

    if you're old enough to remember the original Jefferson Airplane group, you may remember that their lead guitarist was a guy named Jorma Kaukonen .. this is what HE would say about the death penalty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkkppeu7-Fs
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    johnnycee Wrote: Why is that?,do they interpet the criteria for the death sentence differently than other states?
    The criteria is the same as in other states. Jurors in Texas just seem to agree more than any other state. Thus, Texas executes more people than any other state.