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The Sun Also Rises

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We've been reading so much bad news in the Baltimore Sun about the unrelenting attacks on the death penalty, that we were cheered to see some good news. David Nitkin reports in the BaltSun's Maryland Politics blog (h/t SL&P) that the Judicial Proceedings Committee split 5-5 on the repeal bill, which is a rejection of the bill under their rules. Although the committee is likely to be bypassed and the bill brought to the floor through a rare parliamentary maneuver, it is likely to be narrowly defeated there.

"That sounds like the Great Death Penalty Debate of '09 could end with a fizzle. A Baltimore Sun survey of senators showed that majority want to keep capital punishment."

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Hasn't O'Malley also delayed issuing regs to get Maryland's protocol in order? That is appallingly cruel to the victims' family. And Maryland's death row population contains some heinous killers, including one who killed a witness together with other victims.

Justice needs to be done. It's one thing to oppose the death penalty--quite another to cruelly string along victims' families, who have every right to expect the law to be enforced. Of course, every court and every governor in the nation can look at the Supreme Court for precedent. When the Court took Baze and stayed all those executions, it broke faith with victims' families by allowing last-minute stay motions to be successful, fully in the face of its own precedent. O'Malley's just following the Supreme Court's lead.

Sharon Keller may lose her job over it, but she did the right thing.

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