Charlestown residents gathered Wednesday night at the conference center on retirement community's campus in Catonsville for a question and answer session about the 2013 Maryland Legislative Session with their District 12A representatives.
State Sen. Edward Kasemeyer and Dels. Steven DeBoy and James Malone Jr. addressed a crowd of about 40 people and responded to questions regarding this session's hot button issues.
Residents asked about the rain tax, Medicare and education, but discussion about the death penalty repeal dominated much of the hour-long session.
Charlestown resident Hank Thompson began the discussion by asking the representatives to explain, “Why all three of you voted nay.”
He asked the men to explain why they would vote against something that would theoretically save the state so much money.
All three legislators agreed that it was a very emotional issue and but that, in the end, certain crimes warrant the death penalty.
Kasemeyer and DeBoy both referenced last week’s Boston Marathon bombings and the manhunt that followed as an example of why they voted to keep the death penalty in play.
“When I watched the Boston thing, it’s more of an emotional thing for me and I hate to say that, but anybody who would intentionally do that, that’s an appropriate penalty,” Kasemeyer said.
“I believe we just validated in Boston last week, why you want to keep that law on the books,” DeBoy said.
“Just in case that most horrific of crimes occurs, that, to me, putting someone in jail for 30 years or 50 years just isn’t adequate,” DeBoy said.
Phyl Lansing, chair of the Legislative and Political Committee at Charlestown said the community's local representatives visit each year.
"This is a very active political community," Lansing said.
"I'm really pleased with the interaction between the residents and the representation," she said.
She said the session was taped by Charlestown staff and will air on a campus TV station throughout the weekend so those who missed it can watch.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun