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Gov. O'Malley backs death penalty repeal

Andrew Schotz
Hagerstown Herald-Mail
January 26, 2007

ANNAPOLIS - Gov. Martin O'Malley said Thursday that he'd sign a bill repealing Maryland's death penalty, a bill that sponsors plan to introduce by this morning's session.

"Yeah, I sure would," O'Malley said during a State House interview. "We're wasting a lot of money pursuing a policy that doesn't work to reduce crime or to save lives when we could be putting that money into crime reduction. I'm much more in favor of life without parole."

The lead sponsors - Sen. Lisa A. Gladden and Del. Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg, both Baltimore City Democrats - on Thursday called the death penalty an unreliable, expensive, biased and immoral form of punishment.

"It doesn't work," said Gladden, a public defender whose recent repeal bills have failed. "The system's broken."

Gladden wondered if a new governor could help bring a different result. Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, a Republican, supported the death penalty.

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