Corrections officials, prosecutors and police chiefs recently gathered in Annapolis, Maryland, to voice support for a legislative measure that would repeal the state’s death penalty. “It is a human system, and because it is fallible and because it is human, it makes mistakes. Executions make those mistakes irreversible,” said Matthew Campbell, a former deputy state’s attorney for Montgomery and Howard counties. Gary J. Hilton, a former warden at the Trenton State Prison in New Jersey, added that at one time he was a “vigorous supporter” of capital punishment, but then he came to believe that the money it costs to carry out a death sentence would be better spent on improving prison equipment, updating facilities, and training staff. He said life without parole is the toughest punishment, noting, “Nothing in this world could be more horrible than growing old and dying in jail.” Partrick V. Murphy, a former police commissioner of Detroit, Washington and New York, added, “The risk of mistake in administering the death penalty is frightening.” In all, about 50 law enforcement officials signed a public statement backing the repeal measure.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has voiced support for the repeal bill, arguing that capital punishment is unjust and costly. The legislation would replace the death penalty with life without parole.
(Baltimore Sun, March 14, 2007). The former Attorney General of Maryland, Joseph Curran, also supports repeal of the death penalty. See New Voices and Recent Legislative Activity. UPDATE: The bill to abolish the death penalty was defeated in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee by a vote of 5-5 on March 15, 2007.