While Texas republicans debated expanding the death penalty to repeat child molesters, the Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley testified in support of the Death penalty Abolition bill. According to the Washington Post:
The issue, one of the most divisive facing the General Assembly this year, drew pleas from people on both side of the issue during separate hearings conducted by House and Senate panels. But far more people turned out to support repeal, with nearly 30 people signing up to testify in favor of the bill in the Senate.
Governor O’Malley also had a column on today’s Washington post:
Human dignity is the concept that leads brave individuals to sacrifice their lives for the lives of strangers. Human dignity is the universal truth that is the basis of ethics. Human dignity is the fundamental belief on which the laws of this state and this republic are founded. And absent a deterrent value, the damage done to the concept of human dignity by our conscious communal use of the death penalty is greater than the benefit of even a justly drawn retribution.
The proposed “Jessica’s Law” sponsored b y Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball passed out of the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence today and will be considered on the Texas House floor very soon. According to Rep. Aaron Pena, “The House bill does not include the Senate’s minimum 25-year mandatory sentence for first-time offenders.”
Also San Antonio Express-News had another editorial that called for the review of the Death Penalty system rather than expanding it:
But the death penalty isn’t the right way to go. Even some child advocacy groups oppose the death penalty as an option in cases of child sexual abuse. Because abuse is so often committed by someone within the family circle, the practice could deter family members from reporting abuse and could prompt predators to kill their victims to avoid punishment, they argue.
Picture: Gov. Martin O’Malley asks for the repeal of the death penalty Wednesday as he gives testimony before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. (Sun photo by Kim Hairston)