On Thursday, Governor Martin O'Malley signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in Maryland. The bill was passed by the General Assembly in March after having languished in the Senate Judiciary Committee for years — failing to reach the floor in 10 of the previous 12 sessions.
The bill finally reached the floor thanks in part to pressure from ColorOfChange members and coalition partners. The heated floor debate in both chambers marked the first time since the practice was reinstated in 1978 that either the House or the Senate deliberated the death penalty.More »
UPDATE: (4/24/13) The Delaware House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on Senate Bill 19 today. You can follow the hearings by watching the hashtag #DERepeal for tweets from our coalition partners.
Delaware recently took a huge step toward becoming the 19th state in the country to abolish the death penalty. Just before the legislature's spring recess, the Delaware Senate passed SB19, which would repeal capital punishment in the state. Lawmakers returned to Dover today, and the House of Representatives is expected to begin deliberations on the bill shortly. Thus far, Governor Jack Markell has been silent on his position.
Across the country, race has been shown to be a determining factor in whether a defendant receives the death penalty, but in Delaware the problem is particularly pronounced. Delaware has sentenced Black defendants to death for the murder of white victims at a higher rate than South Carolina and Georgia combined.
Read the email we sent to our Delaware ColorOfChange members after the jump, and if you're a Delaware resident, please urge the state House and Gov. Markell to repeal the death penalty.More »
Today, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 82 to 56 to repeal the death penalty. This historic vote comes after the first full chamber deliberation of the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1978.
The Maryland ColorOfChange community generated more than 1,000 petition signatures and dozens of calls urging legislators to end capital punishment in the state.More »
UPDATE: On Friday, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to repeal the death penalty without amendments by a vote of 14-8. The bill is expected to be debated by the full House starting this week. Please take a moment to call your delegates and tell them you support repealing the death penalty without amendments.
Earlier last week, the campaign to end the death penalty cleared a major hurdle when the Senate voted 27-20 in favor of a bill repealing this inhumane punishment. The Senate and Senate President Mike Miller blocked repeal efforts in 10 of the last 12 sessions. The bill now moves on to the House of Delegates. Governor O'Malley is ready to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.More »
On Thursday night, the Maryland Senate Judical Proceedings (JPR) Committee voted 6-5 in favor of approving SB276— the bill that would repeal the death penalty. Previous repeal bills have failed to get out of the JPR committee in 10 of the last 12 General Assembly sessions. Thanks in part to the hard work of Maryland ColorOfChange members making calls, sending tweets and signing a petition in support of the bill, Maryland is closer to repealing the death penalty than it has been in 30 years.
The bill now heads to the full Senate for floor debate. It is crucial that the bill pass the Senate without additional amendments. Please take a moment and call your Senator to tell them you support the death penalty repeal bill without any further amendments.More »
Today, both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly are holding hearings on the bill to repeal the death penalty. ColorOfChange submitted written testimony including the names and comments of nearly one thousand Maryland members who signed our petition urging repeal.
Leading the testimony will be Governor Martin O'Malley, a staunch supporter of repeal. He will be joined on a panel by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and the bill's chief sponsors — Senator Lisa Gladden and Delegate Sandy Rosenberg in their respective chambers.More »
Two weeks ago, Maryland ColorOfChange members joined families of murder victims and civil rights organizations for a rally in Annapolis to repeal the death penalty. The rally follows a recent victory — Senate President Mike Miller, finally put aside his personal opposition and promised a full Senate vote on the bill to repeal the death penalty, SB0276.
Watch the clip above from the rally and then add your voice to our petition to repeal the death penalty in Maryland.More »
Last Wednesday, the Maryland General Assembly began its 2013 session. One major issue that the General Assembly may take on this session is a bill to repeal the death penalty. It's been a long road for advocates of a repeal. In 10 of the last 12 General Assembly sessions, bills have been introduced to repeal the death penalty but have not made it to a full vote. This year members in both chambers are expecting the bill will reach the floor for a full vote.
Proponents of overturning Maryland's draconian death penalty law appear to be within one or two votes of gaining enough political clout to push repeal through the State Senate where previous efforts have failed in years past.More »
UPDATE (12/20/12): Hundreds of Maryland ColorOfChange members have signed the petition to repeal capital punishment in the state. There's serious momentum behind the drive by both the General Assembly and Governor to finally drop the death penalty from the books at the top of the new legislative session.
And now Maryland ColorOfChange members are keeping the pressure on by calling Senate President Miller's office. It's simple: visit our calls page and tell Mike Miller to stop blocking a vote on repealing the death penalty.More »
UPDATE: (04/28/12) On Wednesday (4/26), after hundreds of Connecticut ColorOfChange members called on their state legislators to eliminate capital punishment, Governor Malloy signed the bill banning the death penalty in the state. The ColorOfChange community commends Connecticut on this momentous occasion. Connecticut is now the 17th state in the nation and the fifth in five years to eliminate capital punishment. Time and again, state legislatures are realizing that this form of punishment is cruel and racially discriminatory and it's clear that there is a growing national momentum. We'll continue to honor the pledge we made after Troy Davis' death to keep up the fight to end the death penalty nationwide.
UPDATE: (04/12/12) Last night, the Connecticut General Assembly voted 86-62 to repeal the death penalty in the state...More »