Jane Henderson, executive director of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, released this statement following Governor Martin O'Malley's announcement of the members of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment.
"This is a distinguished and balanced cross section of Marylanders, including corrections and law enforcement, murder victims family members, the public defender, clergy, and other stakeholders in this issue. We expect Commissioners will take their charge seriously, hear from a wide array of experts and citizens, and carefully examine this important issue."
"Maryland CASE is hopeful that the death penalty Commission will thoroughly scrutinize the many serious issues addressed in the bipartisan legislation that created it. Those questions require the Commission to make recommendations related to the risk of executing innocent people, the extra costs of the death penalty, the toll prolonged death penalty cases take on victims' families, and fair application of the punishment."
"The Commission will undertake the first thorough examination of the death penalty in state history. And today, we know so much more about the death penalty than we did when it was reinstated in Maryland 30 years ago. It is time to learn from the past and forthrightly evaluate whether or not we would be better served by replacing the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole, which Maryland CASE believes is severe, more certain for the families left behind by murder, and still ultimately reversible in cases where the convicted person is later exonerated."