Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Putting murderers to death doesn't help victims' families

Executive BranchHomicideJohn KitzhaberMartin O'Malley

I do not know Vivian Penda but I was touched and moved by her op-ed in which she shared her struggle following the murder of her son. In her powerful guest opinion she urged, "For the sake of victims' families, repeal the death penalty." (Nov. 17.) It breaks my heart that she did not receive more support from our public agencies following her profound and tragic loss.

Her words make it clearer than ever for me that it is time to re-focus our state's resources on approaches that reduce violence and provide much-needed support to crime victims. We can begin by ending the death penalty in Maryland, which wastes tax dollars and draws out for decades the legal process that murder victims' loved ones must endure. Putting murderers to death does not provide support for the survivors of their victims. Over and over again we hear from those families that even the execution of a convicted murderer does not bring closure, nor does it end their pain.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber too has urged "a different approach," announcing Thanksgiving week that he will no longer "be part of this compromised and inequitable system" and so will end all executions while he is governor. I commend him and other governors who have taken similar positions.

Our own governor, Martin O'Malley, has been a national leader on this issue, coming out forcefully, during his first term for abolishing capital punishment in Maryland. His historic stand surely created space for Governor Kitzhaber and other state leaders to act to end the death penalty.

I am looking for Governor O'Malley to hold strong to his views on the death penalty and to work with the General Assembly in 2012 to repeal it once and for all in Maryland. I know that they will have my support and the support of many other Marylanders in this important effort.

Rabbi Floyd L. Herman, Owings Mills

The writer is rabbi emeritus of the Har Sinai Congregation.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Executive BranchHomicideJohn KitzhaberMartin O'Malley
  • Health commissioner: E-cigarette bill isn't perfect but is a step forward
    Health commissioner: E-cigarette bill isn't perfect but is a step forward

    Recent legislation regulating the use of electronic smoking devices passed by the City Council and expected to soon be signed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is a step in the right direction to protect Baltimore's children and adults from the harmful effects of e-cigarettes ("Don't fall for...

  • Turning anger over Ferguson into positive action
    Turning anger over Ferguson into positive action

    The images on my television from Ferguson, Mo. and around the country following Monday's grand jury announcement were, to say the least, troubling.

  • Kidnapping case offered lessons
    Kidnapping case offered lessons

    Heather Harris' commentary, "Media message unfair to missing child" (Nov. 20), misreads the message sent by the police and the media in the recent case of the abducted Baltimore County girl. She suggests that the "noise" created leads people to think that a missing 12-year-old girl is no big...

  • Ferguson announcement botched
    Ferguson announcement botched

    I am struck by the fact that there were demonstrations throughout the country Monday night in reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown ("Ferguson's grievance," Nov. 25). The Ferguson Police Department had National Guard troops and...

  • Right as 'rain tax'
    Right as 'rain tax'

    I am not a fan of Gov. Martin O'Malley, but he was right for initiating his so-called "rain tax" ("'Rain tax' sobriquet is misleading," Nov. 19). In a Midwestern state, homeowners are subject to heavy fines if they allow runoff rain water to enter the streets. They must redirect it to their own...

  • GOP should act like grown-ups
    GOP should act like grown-ups

    I consider myself a Republican and voted mostly for Republicans. However, regarding the immigration and Obamacare issues, I have to say the Republicans have taken the bait and are showing themselves to be stupid. If not stupid, you could say they just can't stand prosperity ("On immigration,...

Comments
Loading