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Time to repeal Maryland death penalty

I would like to thank The Sun for encouraging Gov. Martin O'Malley to address the issue of abolishing Maryland's death penalty ("Next up: death penalty," Dec. 2 ). While Governor O'Malley might have high political aspirations when he leaves office in two years, he has important unfinished business in Maryland before he goes on to the national stage.

Maryland's death penalty is costly, racially biased and ineffective at deterring crime. The only way to fix the death penalty is to abolish it. Changes made to the state's death penalty law in 2009 place additional burdens on victims' families by extending the lengths of trials and delaying execution dates. If the proposed repeal bill passes this year, money saved from the death penalty will go toward services to help family members of homicide victims.

It has been more than 30 years since our state legislature has taken a vote on the death penalty. An issue of this importance deserves a vote on the floor. Mr. O'Malley needs to urge the Maryland General Assembly to address the proposed death penalty repeal bill this year. He can show his leadership by renewing the support he had for repeal in 2009 and replacing our state's broken death penalty with legislation that will improve Maryland's criminal justice system.

Eric Voboril, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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