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Baltimore County is still in the dark ages on the death penalty

Some years ago I took a course during which the subject of racist juries in Baltimore County was discussed. I had believed that we had come a long way from those Neanderthal days until I read the op-ed by State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger and professor Richard Vatz in which they attempt to make a case for the reinstatement of the death penalty ("Maryland should reinstate the death penalty," Jan. 6). Not only do they fail to provide any truly new significant reasons for their proposal, they also misrepresent facts.

They claim that there is no "major ideological divide in Maryland" concerning the use of the death penalty as it would pertain to certain offenses. That is clearly not true. Religious leaders have addressed this issue, as have others. They have clearly stated their objections to the death penalty. This regressive thinking has no place in a democracy in the 21st century.

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I am very disappointed that Mr. Shellenberger is unable to move on, as he is a major face of law enforcement in Baltimore County. Others may agree with Mr. Shellenberger's thinking, but be assured that any formal attempt to reinstate the death penalty will meet with very strong opposition and will lead to ultimate failure. It's time for Mr. Shellenberger to update his agenda and move forward.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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