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Two Former Maryland Governors Urge Repeal of Death Penalty

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Guest LAW_*

WHAT: Several former elected officials in Maryland, including two former governors, will call for repeal of the death penalty.

 

WHEN: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 9:40 a.m. (NEW TIME)

 

WHERE: Governor’s Reception Room, 2nd Floor, State House (NEW LOCATION)

 

A group of former elected officials, including several who have previously supported or participated in capital punishment, will urge the General Assembly to pass SB 279, replacing the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole. These officials have concluded that the state’s system is broken beyond repair.

 

Former Gov. Parris N. Glendening: As governor, he oversaw two of the state’s five recent executions, but has concluded that the risk of executing an innocent person is too great to maintain capital punishment.

 

 

Former Gov. Harry R. Hughes: A longtime opponent of the death penalty.

 

 

Former U.S. Sen. Joseph D. Tydings: A former prosecutor and state legislator, Mr. Tydings still supports capital punishment in principle but believes the system is so broken in practice that it should be repealed.

 

 

Former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr.: The former speaker voted to reinstate the death penalty in 1978 but calls that vote the biggest mistake of his legislative career.

 

 

Former Maryland Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs, who now favors repeal of the death penalty and believes state resources can be spent more effectively to strengthen public safety.

 

 

Former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Stuart O. Simms: Also a former head of the Maryland correctional system, he sought the death penalty as a prosecutor but now favors its repeal.

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