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News Opinion Readers Respond

Death penalty used too rarely

As usual, Gov. Martin O'Malley, the poster boy for liberal diatribe, has it all wrong again. In seeking to abolish the death penalty, Governor O'Malley cites the "fact" that even when capital punishment was the law of the land, the rate of murder showed no significant decrease. His pathetic argument that capital punishment is no deterrent is almost laughable.

In order to expect the death penalty to deter crime, one must insure its proper application. Since 1976, 17,569 murders have been committed in the state of Maryland. Of those, only five individuals have been executed. John Thanos in 1994, Flint Hunt in 1997, Tyrone Gilliam in 1998, Stephen Oken in 2004, and Wesley Baker in 2005. There are currently five murderers sitting on Maryland's death row; three of whom have been there for 30 years. It is, indeed, a sorry situation that when 17,569 lives have been brutally snuffed out, the state of Maryland can only implement the death penalty in 1/25th of 1 percent of the cases! Any rational human being could not possibly believe that any law could be a deterrent when applied at this ridiculously low rate.

Let's see the state of Maryland up that to 50 or 60 percent, and then Mr. O'Malley will understand what deterrent means.

Mark T. Pfaff, Ocean City

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