Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley today signed into law a bipartisan measure that abolishes capital punishment in the State of Maryland, making it the 18th state to abolish the death penalty, and the sixth in the last six years.
On March 6, 2013, the state senate passed a bill to abolish the death penalty for future crimes, and on March 15, the Maryland House of Delegates passed (82-56) the same bill.
Governor O’Malley wrote that capital punishment is an ineffective and failed policy:
“The death penalty does not make us stronger or more secure as a people. It is expensive, ineffective, and wasteful as a matter of public policy; it is unjust as historically applied; and its imperfections can and do result in the occasional killing of innocent people. That is why, in Maryland, we have replaced the death penalty with the punishment of life without parole.”
The other five states to recently abolish the death penalty are New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, and Connecticut.