Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Go Maryland, Go!

No, it's not a rallying cry for the Maryland Terrapins; it's a plea for the Maryland legislature.

As Virginia is set to expand the death penalty, across the Potomac, the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee in Maryland is seriously considering doing away with capital punishment, the Washington Post reports.

Right now, one of the members, Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R-Frederick), is conflicted and holds the key as to whether a bill abolishing the death penalty sees the light of day on the Senate floor or not.
[F]ive of 11 committee members signed on to the bill, Mooney could be the vote that determines whether the repeal legislation gets shelved or makes its way to the Senate floor. Usually a reliable conservative vote -- he opposed expansion of the state's hate crimes definition to protect gays and lesbians two years ago and the stem cell research bill last year -- he said he's undecided.

The Catholic church opposes the death penalty, and Mooney worries about innocents being put to death. But the 35-year-old senator said he has qualms about a complete repeal. He said he wonders whether exceptions should be made for people who murder police officers or prison guards.

That's a deal that Howling Latina is willing to make with the devil. Reserving the ultimate punishment for the worst of the worst. As things stand in Virginia, the General Assembly simply keeps on adding more and more crimes to the list of capital offenses while leaving it up to the commonwealth attorney to see who spins the wheel of "fortune" in jourisdictional roulette.

Let us pray that Maryland legislators listen to the better angels of their heart and mind. And in the meantime, let us also hope that the Supreme Court strikes mandatory sentencing, which leaves all the power in the hands of prosecutors so judges can once again JUDGE.

That might be the only way to stop the killing machine in Virginia; at least death-row defendants might have a running chance.

Study after study has shown that the people who get the death penalty are poor people who kill white people. People who are rich and people who kill brown people don't have much to worry about. Studies also show that police, judges, and even their own lawyers all get caught up in the same frenzy and panic that lead to the public clamoring to close the case at any cost so they can rest easy knowing someone is behind bars -- even if it's the wrong person. It's time to use what we know and limit the death penalty as a true last resort.
I suppose the fact that Richard Armitage leaked the info on non-undercover bureaucrat Plame and that Fitzpatrick knew this early on is of no consequence in a witch hunt.


I thought not. Enjoy your time in fantasy land with pixies.
You must be kidding. There are more negroes on death row for one reason only - they commit more murders than other people. Fact. And for that matter, any of these scum , black OR white, who murder innocent people should receive the death penalty. Why on earth should they be on the taxpayers bill for years receiving food, shelter, medical care, etc. when their victims lie rotting in the ground? Thank God for Virginia!
Howling Latina:

I came here through Left Behind, and I really like your blog. I think it would be swell if we linked up to each other. What do you think?

Let me know, and I'll link up to ya
Move to MD then - we don't want you in VA. God forbid someone commits a heinous crime and then is justly convicted and must pay the ultimate price for it. Get real hippie. Who's got the worst crime going on now.... two seconds.... OK. MARYLAND DOES!!! Hey now!
Hey, why should we have to leave. We'll just keep voting all your wingnuts out of statewide office and before you know it, it'll be district by district!!!!

Si se puede!
Uhm, in the last election, not a single seat changed hands on the state level. Only the VA-50th was won by a Republican. So, -1 for libs.

I'm all for lots of appeals for death row inmates - everything should be used to ensure innocence or guilt. DNA evidence is a great start. However, if you commit the crime, and are proven guilty (justly) then be prepared to receive justice.

Crime is higher in MD - Baltimore was (think) #2 in robberies last year. Let's not even get started on PG county. Richmond's no shining star, but lower than Baltimore, even per capita.
Isn't it interesting that the Virginia legislature doesn't seem to have any issue taking a "high moral stand" grounded in Judeo-Christian values when it comes to issues like abortion, marriage, gay rights, and what consenting adults can do in their bedroom, but seems to lose that "good Christian" foundation when it comes to the death penalty. Good ol' Bob "I'm a devout Catholic and I vote" Marshall is all for going after sperm and egg donors, preemptively banning abortion (should Roe v. Wade fall), but has no qualms about putting someone to death at the hands of the state.
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