Maryland abolishes the death penalty
Maryland becomes the 18th state in the United States to abolish the death penalty.
Today, Governor Martin O'Malley signed the bill in a room full of NAACP members, coalition partners and supporters.
Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President & CEO, marks this historical moment:
“Today Maryland becomes the first state south of the mason Dixon line to repeal the death penalty. This is a great day for Maryland and a great day for justice. Maryland is now the sixth state in six years to repeal the death penalty. We are confident we will abolish capital punishment in its entirety throughout the United States within our lifetimes.”
Gerald Stansbury, President, Maryland NAACP State Conference, hopes this will envigorate the movement to end this practice across the country:
"We are on the right side of history on this issue. Ending the death penalty will benefit all people on this state. Though our justice system is still imperfect, this is a major step toward correcting it. Thank you to all the partners in our coalition. This kind of broad coalition should be emulated in repeal efforts across the United States."
The NAACP and a coalition of death penalty repeal advocates worked closely with Maryland leaders to secure the bill's passage.