Letters to the Editor

April 06, 2008

O'Malley avoids citizen input on death penalty

To the editor:

Another recent event in the halls of the legislature in Annapolis should get the attention of every Maryland resident, and, especially all Maryland voters.

It speaks to how politics really work in Annapolis and exemplifies the fact that Gov. Martin O'Malley doesn't really care what his constituency wants. Our governor's actions are motivated by his own personal wants and his own personal political aspirations.

Maryland polls, depending on which one a person prefers, show an overwhelming preference for retention of the death penalty in Maryland, by a 70-90 percent margin.


This doesn't matter to Gov. O'Malley. Instead of voting on the issue again this year, in a vote that would surely uphold the death penalty, and put the issue to rest for awhile, our governor and his supporters are withdrawing the bill from the floor.

The governor knew the bill to repeal the death penalty would not make it in the front door of the State House, so he has cleverly disguised the bill and had his supporters push for a "panel" to be formed to discuss and "advise" the Senate and House on whether the death penalty should be repealed. The governor is underhandedly trying to "bring it in the back door."

The Republicans in Annapolis recently pushed to have this panel formed in a fair way, but they have been defeated. This "committee" will be hand picked by the governor and his supporters.

Isn't this convenient? The governor will now have a free hand and reign in deciding this important issue and can now ram it down everyone's throats. This must be the Democratic Party way.

Personally, I am ashamed to belong to the Democratic Party and am infuriated that our governor thinks I am this gullible and unaware of his intentions. Aren't you upset, too?

The only right way to resolve this issue is to put it to a vote by referendum and let all Maryland voters settle this issue in the way our forefathers intended. Maryland voters want the death penalty to be utilized more effectively, and in cases of heinous crimes, the execution of the law needs to be hastened, just as the State of Texas has done with its "fast track" for obvious murderers.

From what I've seen of the debate on this issue by those for and against the death penalty, it seems they are really in agreement.

Both sides agree that the real problem is not the penalty, but the time and cost it takes to finally reach justice. This is not necessary. The time between trial and execution needs shortened and the appeals need to be limited, if there is no question about what has happened.

Meanwhile, O'Malley, along with the rest of our impotent, paralyzed lawmakers can then decide the fate of Smith Island Cake.

Judge Roy Bean would "hang 'em all high" and let the good Lord sort it out.

Paul Highbarger

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