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Del. McDonough seeks to restore death penalty in some cases

Del. Pat McDonough's biggest contribution to the public discourse during the last four years was his incitement of racial tensions by complaining of "black youth mobs" in the Inner Harbor and urging the governor to declare the area a "no travel zone." Sadly, he emerged from Tuesday's primary as the top vote-getter in the 7th District Republican primary.
Del. Pat McDonough's biggest contribution to the public discourse during the last four years was his incitement of racial tensions by complaining of "black youth mobs" in the Inner Harbor and urging the governor to declare the area a "no travel zone." Sadly, he emerged from Tuesday's primary as the top vote-getter in the 7th District Republican primary. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

Calling it a first step toward fully restoring the death penalty in Maryland, Del. Pat McDonough said he plans to introduce a bill that would mandate capital punishment for anyone convicted of killing a police or correctional officer, a firefighter or witness during the performance of their duty.

McDonough, a Baltimore County Republican, is scheduled to unveil his proposed Fallen Heroes Capital Punishment Restoration Act at a news conference Tuesday in Annapolis.

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Noting the "assassination" of two New York police officers late last year, McDonough said there was a 50 percent increase nationally last year in shootings of law enforcement officers.

Nationwide, there were 50 police officers fatally shot in the line of duty last year, up from 18 in 2013, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Last year's death toll, a one-year jump, still remains below the annual average for each of the previous six decades, data compiled by the fund show.

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Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, becoming the 18th state to do so. McDonough contends the General Assembly is "filled with too many legislators who are criminal advocates."

"Where is the compassion for crime victims, their families, and public safety?" he asked. He said he'd seek to gradually reinstate the death penalty, saying capital punishment for multiple murders would be "the next step in bringing sanity and justice to our system."

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