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Readers Respond

Md. should follow Connecticut's example on death penalty

Connecticut Gov.Dannel P. Malloyhas signed a bill outlawing the death penalty, which passed both the House and the Senate with bi-partisan support. Connecticut is the 5th state in five years and the 17th state in the nation to have abandoned the death penalty.

The criminal justice system, like all human institutions, is imperfect. Where the death penalty is concerned, it isn't a question of whether the state has executed an innocent person. The only relevant questions are when has the state done so, and how often. All democracies in the world, other than the United States, have abolished the death penalty. Does the U.S. want to be judged with such countries as North Korea and Saudi Arabia as countries that impose the death penalty?

As Connecticut has recognized, the death penalty does not bring closure to victims and is rarely carried out even after it is imposed. It is time for Maryland to join with 17 of its sister states and do away with the cruel, ineffective and unjust death penalty.

Sheldon H. Laskin, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun