“The average prison sentence for men who kill their intimate partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced, on average, to 15 years.
A pair of Maryland cases vividly illustrates this inequality in sentencing. In one case, a judge in Baltimore County, Maryland sentenced Kenneth Peacock to 18 months for killing his unfaithful wife. The very next day, another judge in the same county sentenced Patricia Ann Hawkins to three years in prison for killing her abusive husband. Significantly, the prosecutor in the Peacock case requested a sentence twice as long as the one imposed, while the prosecutor in the Hawkins case requested one-third of the sentence imposed.”
“As many as 90% of the women in prison today  for killing men had been battered by those men.”
(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — Opponents of capital punishment marked a milestone Thursday as Maryland became the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to abolish the death penalty.
The passage was a significant victory for Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Roman Catholic who opposes capital punishment and is considering seeking the 2016 presidential nomination. Death penalty opponents said the governor helped maintain the national momentum of repeal efforts by making Maryland the sixth state in as many years to abolish capital punishment.
“I don’t know exactly what the timing is, but over the longer arc of history I think you’ll see more and more states repeal the death penalty,” O’Malley said in a brief interview after the bill signing. “It’s wasteful. It’s ineffective. It doesn’t work to reduce violent crime.”
NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous, who worked to get the repeal bill passed, noted the significance of a Democratic governor south of the Mason-Dixon line with presidential aspirations leading an effort to ban capital punishment. Jealous noted that in 1992, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton left the presidential campaign trail to oversee the execution of a man who had killed a police officer, a move widely viewed as an effort to shed the Democratic Party’s image as soft on crime.
“Our governor has also just redefined what it means to have a political future in this country,” Jealous said. “You know, it was just 20 years ago that a young governor with possibilities below the Mason-Dixon stopped during his presidential campaign” to oversee an execution.
Maryland is the 18th state to abolish the death penalty. Neighboring Delaware also made a push to repeal it this year, but the bill has stalled.
“It doesn’t always happen overnight,” Rust-Tierney said. “The more people study it, the more people understand it. This was a seven-year effort here in Maryland.”
Supporters of capital punishment said the governor was taking away an important tool to protect the public. Del. Neil Parrott, a Washington County Republican, criticized the governor for moving ahead with banning the death penalty during the same session as he pushed for a gun-control bill to restrict firearms access to law-abiding citizens. Parrott said he is considering launching a petition drive to put the death penalty ban on the ballot for voters to decide in 2014.
“We are thinking about it,” Parrott said, noting that an announcement could come as soon as Friday.
State Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat and constitutional law professor who opposes the death penalty, said he believes pressure is building around the country to focus law enforcement resources on things that are proven to lower the homicide rate.
“The trend lines are clear,” Raskin said. “There’s nobody who’s adding the death penalty to their state laws. Everybody is taking it away.”
Opponents of capital punishment also noted that the state won’t have to worry about potentially putting an innocent person to death. Kirk Bloodsworth, a Maryland man who was the first person in the U.S. freed because of DNA evidence after a conviction in a death penalty case, attended the news conference.
The bill will not apply to the five men the state has on death row, but the governor can commute their sentences to life without parole. O’Malley has said he will consider them on a case-by-case basis.
The state’s last execution was in 2005, when Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich was in office.
Last year, the Death Penalty Information Center said in an annual report that just four states carried out more than three-fourths of the executions in the United States last year, while another 23 had not put an inmate to death in 10 years.
A key Senate committee is expected to vote on the death penalty repeal bill this evening. Following that vote, the measure could be on the floor of the Senate for debate and a vote as early as Saturday!
In breaking news last night, one of the members of the Senate committee announced his support for repeal!
The Washington Post reports “Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) said Wednesday night that he plans to vote in favor of repealing Maryland’s death penalty, which means the measure now has the support of a majority of members on a key committee.”
Call your Maryland State Senator Today! Ask your state Senator to vote for the death penalty repeal bill WITHOUT AMENDMENTS. You can find out who your state Senator is by going to www.mdelect.net and typing your address into the bar at the top of the screen. Hit enter and your state representative information will appear near the bottom of the left-hand column. Links are provided there to access your representatives’ contact information.
STAY TUNED for information about floor hearings and debates. Following a vote in the Senate committee, the bill will move to the Senate floor for debate. We need to pack the Gallery in a show of support, so if you’re schedule is flexible, be ready to come to Annapolis! We will send out a special announcement just as soon as we know when the floor debates will begin. The first day of floor debate is the most important date to pack the Gallery!
Keep tweeting in support of death penalty repeal, and be sure to use the hashtags #mdrepeal, and #mdga13.
Any of our core messages are fair game to tweet about (cost, innocence, etc.), and remember that our key messages at this point in the campaign are around the appropriation for crime victims and about countering bad info about there about prison killings and plea bargaining. Here are some sample tweets to use any time you want to start talking about repeal on Twitter:
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Two more Maryland senators have said they will support a bill to abolish capital punishment, giving the measure backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) more than enough expected votes to clear the chamber.
Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel) said in an interview with The Post on Monday that he plans to vote in favor of repealing Maryland’s death penalty. And Sen. Ronald N. Young (D-Frederick) also plans to vote for repeal, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.
Miller says the plan he introduced Monday will go nowhere unless the governor gets on board
Repeal advocates say they are confident the measure will pass in the House of Delegates if the votes are there in the Senate, where similar legislation has stalled in recent years, with members arguing capital punishment should remain an option for some killers.
Besides Astle and Young, two other senators — James E. DeGrange Sr. (D-Anne Arundel) and Edward R. Reilly (R-Anne Arundel) — have said in interviews with The Post that they plan to join the co-sponsors in voting for the legislation. Several other members have said they are keeping open minds.
Astle said that at one time he supported capital punishment for “the most heinous crimes,” but that he became conflicted about the issue more recently.
“The idea of strapping someone down and deliberately taking their life, it was a little difficult for me,” said Astle, a twice-wounded military combat veteran. “I didn’t come to my decision easily.” please, read whole article in the WP and:
Here is a list of the 25 senators now on record supporting O’Malley’s repeal bill.