abolition death penalty DNA Exoneration legislation Maryland Witness to Innocence Wrongfully Convicted

Maryland Senate Passes Abolition Legislation

Earlier today, the Maryland Senate passed SB 276, a bill to replace the death penalty with life without parole, by a vote of 27-20.  The vote occurred after three days of debate.  It was the first time in decades that the full Senate considered repeal legislation, as previous efforts in that body had been blocked by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.  On February 21, 2013, that committee voted 6-5 in favor of abolishing the death penalty, allowing the bill to move forward.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates, where some 68 members are co-sponsors of the legislation.  Read more from the Baltimore Sun.

Maryland is poised to become the sixth state in six years to abandon the death penalty.  Read a press release from the Death Penalty Information Center.

Also, check out Kirk Bloodsworth’s appearance Monday night on the Colbert Report.  Bloodsworth was the first wrongfully convicted death row inmate to be exonerated by DNA evidence.  A native of Maryland, he has advocated tirelessly for repeal.  He serves as the Advocacy Director of Witness to Innocence.