Maryland Creates Commission to Study Death Penalty

Maryland Governor O’Malley signed legislation creating a commission to study the death penalty on May 13. The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment is mandated to reflect on all sides of the issue and its members will include representatives from law enforcement, a prosecutor, a public defender, and family members of murder victims. The commission begins its work in July and should submit its findings by December 15, 2008.

The following representatives will serve on the commission:

  • Two members of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate
  • Two members of the House, appointed by the Speaker of the House
  • The Attorney General or his designee
  • One former member of the Judiciary, appointed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals
  • The Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services or his designee
  • The State Public Defender or her designee
  • A State's Attorney who has prosecuted a death penalty case designated by the President of Maryland State's Attorneys' Association
  • A representative of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association
  • A representative of the Maryland State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police
  • A correctional officer in a state prison
  • A former state prisoner who has been exonerated of the crime of which he or she was convicted
  • Three representatives of religious communities
  • Six representatives of the general public, including at least three family members of a murder victim.

The members of the commission have not yet been announced.
(L. Smitherman, "O’Malley Signs Safety, BRAC Bills," Baltimore Sun, May 14, 2008; see also Newsletter, Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, www.mdcase.org, May 12, 2008).  See Recent Legislation.