Thursday, January 1, 2015

Outgoing Maryland governor commutes death sentences

In one of his final acts as governor of the state of Maryland, Martin O'Malley has commuted the sentences of four death row inmates to life without parole, reported The Huffington Post.
The likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate helped shepherd in the abolition of the death penalty in his state in 2013, arguing that it wasn't a deterrent for criminals, could end up being applied to innocent people, and was far more costly to the state than other punishments. But the change left in effect sentences that had already been issued, meaning that four people in Maryland convicted of murder remained on death row.
On Wednesday morning, O'Malley changed that, echoing an argument from the state's attorney general that it might be illegal for the state to go forward with the death penalty sentences now that the law has been changed. O'Malley said in a statement that he spoke with the family members of the victims of the murderers prior to deciding to commute their sentences.
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