Baltimore Sun – Ending executions in Maryland

Our view: Gov. O’Malley should use the historic occasion provided by the repeal of capital punishment to commute the sentences Maryland’s death row inmates to life without parole

4:01 p.m. EDT, March 18, 2013

Having won approval in both chambers of Maryland’s General Assembly, a landmark bill to abolish the state’s death penalty awaits only Gov. Martin O’Malley‘s signature before becoming law. It is a tremendous political and moral victory for Mr. O’Malley, a long-time opponent of capital punishment who campaigned for a repeal during his first term only to come up short.

That leaves only one major item of unfinished business on his agenda regarding the issue: Commuting the sentences of the five men currently on Maryland’s death row to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The governor must use the historic opportunity presented by the abolition of capital punishment in Maryland to unequivocally put an end to the last vestiges of this barbaric practice in the state’s prisons.