John Kitzhaber

Putting murderers to death doesn't help victims' families

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...