Is Maryland closer to repealing the death penalty?

According to Brian Evans, writing for Amnesty International, Maryland is not even close to repealing the death penalty (the possible punishment for first-degree murder) – that is, if the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee looks the same in 2013 as it did last year and in years past.

There are four members (out of 11) from Baltimore County, which Evans says is the most pro-death penalty county in Maryland, and only one African American member, in a state with an African American population of 31 percent.

On top of that, Evans says, the majority of murder victims in Maryland are African American, and yet Maryland’s five executions in the last few decades have only involved cases in which the victims were white.

Evans writes that Maryland lawmakers are apparently willing to get rid of the death penalty, were it not for the “stacked” Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, and ends his post by writing that the Committee’s 2013 members are to be announced shortly – the result which could mean the difference between repeal and continued executions in Maryland.

Source: Race, Politics and Maryland’s Lingering Death Penalty