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Delegate comments on capital punishment

Editor:

I will introduce five bills that mandate the use of capital punishment in the case of mass murder, murder of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, contract murder or serial killer. At a time when the Governor and liberal members of the General Assembly are attempting to abolish the death penalty,  I believe they are moving in the wrong direction.

The recent mass murder of children in Newtown makes it clear that a capital punishment remedy is necessary. I find it hard to believe that the Governor, or any member of the General Assembly, would support the idea of an assassin of innocent children be granted life without parole. It is unthinkable that the taxpayers and victims' families be subjected to paying for the existence of this type of murderer for decades after the slaughter of these innocents. Moreover, according to Maryland law, a mass murderer could be found to be insane and eventually be released into the community. Also, that same mass murderer, according to Maryland law, is a convicted felon and would be eligible to vote. 

There are approximately 3,400 convicted murderers in the Maryland prison system. Many are not serving life without parole and will be back on the streets through early release programs. These same murderers would have been eligible for a college degree obtained in the system which would promote another form of early release for them. However, I  successfully passed an amendment on the floor of the House of Delegates during the last session prohibiting convicted murderers from participating in the prison college early release program.

Over the years, the Maryland General Assembly has become "criminal friendly" by promoting early release programs and other policies that benefit offenders. Recently, the Governor and legislators made it easier for convicted murderers to receive automatic parole without the confirmation of the Governor. Public safety and crime victims' rights have been relegated to second class citizenship.

It is hypocritical for the elected representatives of the people to engage in vigorous advocacy for gun control and abolish the death penalty while, at the same time, not providing serious help regarding protection of the public. Gun laws and killing the death penalty only benefit the criminals. If the Governor and the General Assembly were honest, they will guarantee that this year's debate will broaden into a serious discussion about crime, gun violence, revolving door justice in our prison system and real solutions. I intend to fight hard to generate an honest and serious debate on these issues. 

For additional information, contact Del. McDonough at 410-238-0025 or 410-841-3334.

Del. Pat McDonough

  

  

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