Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ohio Death Penalty Overview, Abolition Possible in Maryland

Maryland Moratorium on Executions

What we're hoping will happen is that the governor will see and the legislature will see that this is an unworkable policy and that the time and money that it would take to fix it -- and we believe it is unfixable -- is just a waste of everyone's resources," said Stephanie Gibson, an associate professor at the University of Baltimore and a chairwoman of the board of directors of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions. "We're the third state now that has a de facto moratorium because of problems with lethal injection. There is no good way to execute people."

But Del. Barry Glassman, a Harford County Republican and capital punishment supporter, said he would not be surprised if the General Assembly takes up a proposal on whether to repeal the death penalty.

"This issue is of a magnitude that it's going to require some kind of legislative action to address whether you're for or against the death penalty," Glassman said. "The legislature really has the duty to weigh in on this. It's a big enough policy question that a committee should look at it and a whole body should vote on it."

Click to read the full article from BSun

From near a Conspicuously Deathly post by DAB, who pasted on very good overview pieces re Ohio (not critical, I'm the one being cumbersome)
Here is a Nation article by Bruce Shapiro:

For the last decade, the issue that has driven the death penalty debate — galvanizing the attention of courts and press alike — has been innocence: a capital representation system so criminally negligent that 123 wrongfully convicted death-row inmates have been released, and public confidence in death sentences eroded.

Yet innocence cases, in their own way, have evaded a fundamental question: What about the grievously guilty? What about what one pro-death-penalty legal scholar calls "the worst of the worst"? Are executions of the truly guilty consistent with America's evolving constitutional standards, with national ideals and worldwide human rights norms?

And here the article in Cleveland Plain Dealer and on Ohio Cases are linked (thanks to DAB). Columbus Dispatch article here on sex offenders. Here is a taste of that one:

In March, Judge Daniel T. Hogan, the administrative judge of the 17-member Franklin County Common Pleas bench, told lawmakers that going too far will actually benefit criminal defendants. "The vast, vast majority of child sex-assault cases are not supported by strong evidence," Hogan said, adding that if stronger punishments push more offenders to opt for trial, fewer convictions will result.

I completely agree with that...but this view is rarely heard. This also presumes that a fair trial can be had. In some states that is still not possible given the "climate" of public opinion, e.g., Texas and ... (anybody have any more from personal experience?).

This Does Not Happen Often: Banishment ordinance stricken as Punitive in Cape May (Friday)

If you want a shock click on this from Worldnet Daily: "Sextra Credit"

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