Supporters of repealing the Maryland death penalty gathered corrections officials, prosecutors, and police chiefs yesterday to argue that the criminal justice system is broken beyond repair and that capital punishment cannot be fairly or reliably applied, says the Baltimore Sun. “It is a human system, and because it is fallible and because it is human, it makes mistakes,” said Matthew Campbell, a former prosecutor in two counties. “Execution makes those mistakes irreversible.”
Proponents of repeal are gearing up for an expected Senate committee vote tomorrow that could determine the fate of the measure this year. The bill would replace the death penalty with life without parole. Opponents of the bill have said that the punishment should be maintained for violent offenders who kill again behind bars. Gary Hilton, a former New Jersey prison warden, has never had a moral objection to the death penalty and was at one time “a vigorous supporter.” He has come to believe that the money would be better spent on improving prison equipment and facilities and on a well-trained staff. He said life without parole is the toughest punishment. “Nothing in this world could be more horrible than growing old and dying in jail,” he said.