Deciding the fate of Maryland's death penalty
Maryland will be better off without the death penalty ("Senate may debatedeath penalty repeal," Feb. 26).
Repeal would allow Maryland to develop policies that are more effective atpreventing crime and helping victims' families.
The flaws in capital punishment, which were reflected in the hearings ofthe Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, have been well researched
and well known for decades:
It does not deter crime.It costs much more than the alternatives.
It drags out the suffering of victims' families rather than bringing themclosure.
It risks taking innocent lives - mistakes in death penalty cases cannot be reversed once an execution has taken place.
In addition, the use of the death penalty reflects the racial disparity of our criminal justice system, which incarcerates and also condemns to death people of color at a much higher rate than whites.
I call on Maryland legislators to vote for repeal of the death penalty in 2009.