MD Gov. to Introduce Abolition Bill- who do you know in MD?

MD Gov. to Introduce Abolition Bill- who do you know in MD?
Maryland Governor to Introduce Abolition Bill – who do you know in MD?
Greetings All!
First, happy new year!  We here at the National Coalition wish you and yours all the best in 2009, and we look forward to seeing many of you at "Training for the Long Run: NCADP 2009," our national conference next week in Harrisburg, PA.  Please visit to learn more and register today!
Now for the big news.
The Maryland repeal effort is now officially in it’s next phase — the Governor announced today that he will personally sponsor the repeal bill and will do everything he can to pass it. This obviously is tremendous news, and something we’ve been hoping for for a long time. The campaign now kicks up many notches!
The Governor’s institutional support gives great weight to the bill, but it is still a long road ahead and Governor O’Malley needs the full support of the larger abolition community to be very strongly behind him in order for him to be successful.  But please note: the opportunities are different depending on where you live.
Do you live outside of Maryland?  If so, please do NOT contact Maryland legislators or the Governor.  It is much better that Maryland policy makers hear from their own voters/citizens/tax payers.  So the question is, who do you know in Maryland?  If you have friends, family, colleagues, etc. who live in Maryland, please ask them to sign up with Maryland Citizens Against State Executions at and to take the actions suggested by that organization. 
Do you live in Maryland?
This is all hands on deck. We need Marylanders all across the state calling and writing their legislators, hosting events, tabling at churches, distributing yard signs, and more. This is the time. If everyone makes repeal in Maryland a priority, we will be another state down in less than 90 days!  Sign up today at and get involved!
Thank you for taking action today.
Abraham J. Bonowitz
Director of Affiliate Support
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Here’s the Washington Post article from this morning.
O’Malley Begins Quest To Repeal Death Penalty
By John Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 16, 2009; A01
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said yesterday that he will for the first time personally sponsor a bill and do "everything in [his] power" to abolish capital punishment in Maryland, signaling his desire to make the issue a chief accomplishment as he enters the second half of his term.
O’Malley said in an interview that he plans to invest heavy political capital to persuade the General Assembly to pass a repeal bill during its current 90-day legislation session, even asking lawmakers to work around a Senate committee that has kept such a bill from passing before if necessary.
During his first two years, the governor has established a track record of muscling through difficult legislation, including a bill setting up a public vote on slot-machine gambling and a package of tax increases and spending cuts. But his promised introduction of a death-penalty repeal bill will face strong opposition, probably leading to a major political battle.
O’Malley said the death penalty is not a deterrent, wastes resources that could be better spent fighting violent crime and leaves the state open to the possibility of executing innocent people. "That risk alone should be enough to repeal it and substitute it with life without parole," he said.
The governor’s stepped-up effort comes at a time when other states have been rethinking the merits of the death penalty and with Maryland at a crossroads on the issue. A state commission led by former U.S. attorney general Benjamin R. Civiletti recently recommended abolition, but local prosecutors who support capital punishment have urged O’Malley to issue the regulations needed to end a court-imposed moratorium on executions.
The 37 executions that took place nationally last year marked a 14-year low and continued a downward trend after peaking in 1999, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. In late 2007, New Jersey became the first state in a generation to abolish the death penalty; others are considering it.
"I’m going to lobby people on the merits of the issue," said O’Malley, a Catholic who has long opposed the death penalty. "I just feel personally compelled to try."
After a meeting with O’Malley yesterday, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), a capital punishment supporter, said he would continue to talk with the governor but said changing votes will be tough.
"When you’re middle-aged, your mind is pretty much set on issues like this," Miller said. "It’s not an issue you can lobby. He’s going to push hard, but I’m not sure he’s going to be successful."
It is unclear how many minds O’Malley would need to change, because repeal bills have not been debated by the full House or Senate in recent years. Death penalty opponents claim that a majority in both chambers support repeal, although the bill could face a filibuster in the Senate, further complicating passage.
Maryland has executed five people since it reinstated the death penalty in 1978. Five inmates are on death row.
The state has had a de facto moratorium on capital punishment since December 2006, the month before O’Malley took office, after the state’s highest court ruled that procedures for lethal injection had not been properly adopted. O’Malley has declined to issue new regulations allowing executions to resume.
O’Malley indicated yesterday that he would like to see votes on a repeal bill by the full House and Senate before allowing regulations to be put in place. He said he is hopeful that the Senate committee would approve the bill during the session that started this week, sending it to the floor for a vote by the full chamber. But the membership of the 11-member committee has not changed since 2007, when a repeal bill fell one vote short, despite testimony by O’Malley urging its passage.
Last year, the committee declined to vote on a similar bill, given the likelihood of the same result.
Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), the committee’s chairman, said yesterday that he was not aware of any votes that have changed but that it is possible O’Malley’s imprint on the bill could make a difference.
"There’s a little more force behind it," said Frosh, who supports repealing the death penalty.
If the bill remains stalled in committee, O’Malley suggested that the chamber consider using one of several parliamentary procedures that could allow the proposal to move to the floor without committee approval.
Those moves are very rare, although O’Malley said one was used when the Senate reinstated the death penalty in Maryland. At the time, O’Malley’s father-in-law, J. Joseph Curran (D), a death penalty opponent, was chairman of the committee that was bypassed. He later served as Maryland’s attorney general.
Miller said he urged O’Malley during their meeting to work within the committee system. In a recent interview, Miller said bypassing the committee "would mean turmoil on the floor."
The House of Delegates has not taken any votes on repealing the death penalty in the past two years while the bill has been stalled in the Senate. House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said in a recent interview that he believes there are enough votes to pass a repeal bill in his chamber but that he would like the Senate to act first.
In yesterday’s interview, O’Malley cited the General Assembly’s decision to let voters decide last November whether to authorize slot-machine gambling in Maryland, ending years of legislative paralysis on the issue.
"If that had enough moral gravity attached to it to do that, certainly the repeal of the death penalty has enough moral gravity attached to be considered by the full House and Senate," O’Malley said.
Click Here to support the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and its work to assist affiliates like Maryland Citizens Against State Executions!

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Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: This petition on Haiti disaster anniversary:   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: This petition on Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts:,_native_american_acts,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: This petition on Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday:   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: This petition on Economically empower through advocacy:
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