March 15, 2013

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, Communications Director, 410-889-8555; 

ANNAPOLIS - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland joins with our coalition partners to herald passage today of historic legislation that will repeal the death penalty in Maryland. The ACLU has sought to end use of the death penalty for decades by lobbying every year in the General Assembly to abolish it.  In 1994, the ACLU of Maryland also mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to stave off the first execution of Marylander, John Thanos, after the Supreme Court's reinstatement of the death penalty in 1977.

The following can be attributed to Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland:

"We knew that with the dedication and hard work of inspiring partners, the strong support of Governor O'Malley, and evolving public sentiment, this historic day would come. Now, Maryland can add its name as the 18th state to an influential list of states that have abandoned this barbaric, antiquated, and irreversible punishment. Repealing capital punishment will help eliminate racial and jurisdictional bias, reduce unnecessary waste of tax dollars, and eliminate the risk of executing an innocent person." 

The following can be attributed to Denny LeBoeuf, director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project:

"Capital punishment laws are incapable of providing a way to choose who should be executed that spares the innocent, that is not fundamentally biased against people of color and the poor and that does not cost more than imprisonment."


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