It is my personal belief that the practice is immoral; the risk of executing an innocent man or woman is too high to continue instituting capital punishment. DNA testing has cast doubts on numerous prior cases, an unfortunate fact that should serve to remind us that our justice system, while undoubtedly one of the world’s best, is not infallible.
Consider, as well, the fiscal prudence of adding Maryland to the list of states that have abolished the death penalty. It costs significantly more to execute an inmate than keep him/her imprisoned for life. Is it worth the requisite budget allocation to maintain this antediluvian method of punishment? One may answer that, to the extent that it deters crime, capital punishment is worth the money; but southern states account for 80 percent of the nation’s executions while maintaining the highest regional murder rate. Indeed, studies have found that states with capital punishment have murder rates 48 to 101 percent higher than those without it.
It is time for the US to join the 128 countries who have already decided against capital punishment, and further distinguish itself from the only three–China, Iran and Saudi Arabia–with more annual executions. And it is time for Maryland to join the other states that have chosen to be the impetus for progress rather than the inertia.
Visit the Maryland Citizens Against State Executions website for information on how to join the movement to abolish the death penalty in Maryland.