Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley (www.governor.maryland.gov/biography.asp)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley urged lawmakers to pass a measure that would repeal the death penalty in Maryland.
The Democratic governor and death penalty opponent denounced the practice of capital punishment during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, calling it inaccurate, costly, racially biased and ineffective in deterring violent criminals.
O'Malley, who has made the ban on capital punishment a top legislative priority this season, urged lawmakers to support a measure that makes life without the possibility of parole the state's most severe punishment.
But supporters of the death penalty say that capital punishment should be an option for individuals who commit the "worst of the worst" crimes, and argue that capital punishment also serves as punitive measure for inmates who commit homicides in jail.