Calls to repeal the Maryland death penalty are met with opposition . . . again.
Lawmakers in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee are hearing testimony on
As Pat Warren reports, this year’s debate focuses on victim’s families.
The movie “Dead Man Walking” is based on the personal experience of Sister
Helen Prejean, whose relationship with a death row inmate brings her to
Maryland to lobby for repeal.
This year’s bill in the Senate would spend state resources on recovery for
victims’ families rather than executions.
“The death penalty doesn’t help victims’ families. First of all, it’s so few of
them and you never do it. So what it does then is release that energy of that
money into healing help for victims’ families,” said Prejean, advocate for
Martin Price, whose father killed 2 of his family members, is among those
testifying in favor of repealing the death penalty.
“If anyone felt that someone deserved the death penalty it was me,” Price said.
Price changed his mind, but others haven’t.
“You need to have the ultimate punishment available when people commit the
ultimate crime, “ said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Schellenberger.
He is among those who support the death penalty, particularly since new
restrictions limit the use of it.
“That should have convinced everyone that we have a restrictive statute. We’re
very careful in how we use it, and therefore I’m down here today to say don’t
change anything,” Schellenberger said.
A bill for repeal is also in the House, but as always the real hurdle is the
Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
(source: WJZ News)