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Death penalty repeal should have made it to referendum [Letter]

Letter to The Aegis

1:43 PM EDT, June 4, 2013

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Editor:

I am distressed and saddened that the death penalty repeal is not being brought to referendum because not enough signatures were secured in the short amount of time provided to do so. As the relative of a murder victim I would have liked the opportunity to sign a petition and to go door-to-door to gather signatures. I would have gladly stood outside Harford Mall or any other public place to collect signatures. The petition drive apparently was never well-publicized on TV. I did not encounter any volunteers throughout Harford County seeking signatures.

If it took seven years for Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg to convince colleagues to repeal the death penalty why weren't opponents of the repeal allowed more time to collect signatures? The November 2014 election is nearly 1 1/2 years away. Surely more time could have been provided to secure the required number of signatures to bring the matter to referendum. Why wasn't the petition drive better publicized?

A few weeks ago there was a news story on WGN (Chicago) stating that it costs more than $2 million  to incarcerate a convicted murderer in his/her mid-20's who has been sentenced to life-without-parole. Money of that magnitude could be better spent for building new schools and/or providing shelters for the homeless.

MaryLee A. Stritch

Abingdon