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O’Malley Pressured on Death Row Inmates

April 11th, 2013 by WCBC Radio

With last month’s vote to repeal the death penalty, Maryland lawmakers handed Governor Martin O’Malley a long-sought legislative victory — and a question that he has refused to answer: What is he going to do about the five prisoners on death row? The new law won’t apply to them, and O’Malley (D) is facing a fresh push from his allies in the legislative fight to commute the five sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the harshest penalty that will remain on the books. O’Malley could have commuted the five sentences anytime since taking office. But with passage of the repeal bill, many are wondering, why not go ahead and do that now if abolishing capital punishment is such a priority? In an interview, O’Malley, whose term ends in January 2015, indicated that he has no immediate plans to use his commutation powers and said little about what might guide his thinking regarding the inmates, all of whom have been convicted of murder…

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