NAACP President Meets with MD Governor to Discuss Death Penalty

(Annapolis, MD) – NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and Maryland NAACP State Conference President Gerald Stansbury met with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley this morning to discuss the future of the death penalty in Maryland. The NAACP has advocated for abolishing the death penalty in Maryland and other states.

The meeting took place this morning from 9:30 – 10:00 am at the Maryland State House.

“We must end the death penalty in Maryland this year,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “This is a matter of justice and a matter of safety. We are optimistic that Maryland will be the sixth state in six years to abolish the death penalty. We are moving closer to abolishing it in the country as a whole.”  

A bill currently at the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee would repeal the death penalty while reallocating $500,000 of savings annually to the Maryland Victims of Crime Fund, devoted to the needs of murder victims’ families.

“Today’s meeting went very well,” stated NAACP Maryland State Conference President Gerald Stansbury. “Our branches across the state, in conjunction with our partners, will continue to do everything they can to keep the momentum going and repeal the death penalty this year. The Prince George’s County Branch is particularly integral to this effort.”

A 2003 University of Maryland study commissioned by then-Governor Parris Glendenning found that the primary factors leading to a death sentence in Maryland are the race of the victim and the jurisdiction of the crime. Since 1978, every prisoner executed for murder in Maryland was accused of killing a white person, even though three-quarters of homicide victims in this state are black.

Also, a 2008 study found that the average death penalty case adds almost $2 million extra to the state's costs, and that having the punishment has cumulatively cost the state $186 million.

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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