Repealing Maryland's death penalty was long overdue

As a strong proponent of abolishing Maryland's death penalty, I was pleased to learn that the General Assembly recently voted to eliminate the practice ("Reason over revenge, at long last," March 17).

I oppose the death penalty because it is an inhumane act that serves no purpose and because it has led to wrongly convicted individuals being sentenced to death. I encourage skeptics to read the compelling story of Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander on death row who became the first inmate in the nation ever to be exonerated by DNA evidence.

While I am disappointed that Dels. James Malone and Steve DeBoy, who represent Columbia, and state Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, all voted against repealing the death penalty, I am encouraged that Gov. Martin O'Malley has committed to signing the ban into law.

Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be any groundswell of support for bringing the repeal to a referendum next year, and I hope this continues to be the case. The repeal of the state's death penalty is long overdue and it deserves to remain in place so that the execution of innocent Marylanders is no longer a possibility.

Mark Breaux, Columbia

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