The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Wednesday he will commute the sentences of the four men who are currently on the state’s death row.

The move by O’Malley comes two years after state lawmakers passed legislation abolishing Maryland’s death penalty. However, that measure did not directly affect the inmates who were already on death row. There were five prisoners awaiting execution when the legislation took effect; one has died of natural causes.

“Recent appeals and the latest opinion on this matter by Maryland’s Attorney General have called into question the legality of carrying out earlier death sentences — sentences imposed prior to abolition,” O’Malley said in a statement. “In fact, the Attorney General has opined that the carrying out of prior sentences is now illegal in the absence of an existing statute.”

O’Malley said he had spoken to the family members of the victims of the convicted murderers and that he felt his decision to commute the sentences to life in prison without parole was the right one.

“In my judgment, leaving these death sentences in place does not serve the public good of the people of Maryland — present or future,” O’Malley said. “Gubernatorial inaction — at this point in the legal process — would, in my judgment, needlessly and callously subject survivors, and the people of Maryland, to the ordeal of an endless appeals process, with unpredictable twists and turns, and without any hope of finality or closure.”

Eighteen states do not have the death penalty, and since 2007, six — Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and New Mexico — have abolished it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

O’Malley, who exits office next month after his second term, is exploring a potential run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Photo: Michael Hilton via Flickr

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Fort Worth Police at the scene of a violent crime.

Photo by Brandon Harer (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

If you're worried by the rise in violent crime — a real and troubling phenomenon — don't ask Republicans for solutions. All they can offer is a blame game that relies on dubious cherry-picked data. To get their message, just glance at Breitbart.com, the home of hard-right hackery: "Violent Crime Surges 25 Percent in 2021 With Democrats in Washington." You can find dozens of similar headlines across right-wing platforms, which invariably announce "skyrocketing crime rates in Dem-run cities." (Stay tuned for grainy video of a disturbing attack.)

Then there's former President Donald Trump himself, the loudest presidential loser in history, blathering fantastical statistics that are meant to show how dangerous life is in America now that he's gone.

Keep reading... Show less

GOP Senate Campaign Chief Blasts 17 Colleagues Who Support Infrastructure Deal

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) scolded 17 of his Republican colleagues on Thursday for helping Democrats pass "reckless spending." But as chair of the party's campaign arm, it's his job to get them re-elected.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close