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Death penalty in Maryland: Right time for the debate?

Gov. Martin O’Malley has made repeal of the death penalty one of his top priorities this year. The Maryland Senate has spent portions of two days locked in debate. The issue could soon go to the House of Delegates, where more discussion will take place.

The arguments are being waged as the state wrestles with a severe economic downturn. Tax revenues are down. Deep budget cuts are needed. The Chesapeake Bay continues to deteriorate. Roads are clogged. Crime is problem in urban areas.

So the question is germane: Is this the right time for the governor and the General Assembly to focus on the death penalty? Does the debate demonstrate misplaced priorities? Or is the issue of capital punishment so vital that it deserves attention even during these difficult economic times?

What’s your view? We may publish some of your comments in the print edition of The Baltimore Sun.

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