ANNAPOLIS (May 23, 2008) Governor Martin OMalley issued the following statement on Thursday regarding the death penalty in Maryland:
Today I directed the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services to begin the rule-making process governing the administration of capital punishment in the State of Maryland.
Last month, the United States Supreme Court held that the administration of capital punishment by lethal injection did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. This case resolves challenges to the constitutionality of using lethal injection as a method of capital punishment, the method specified by Maryland law.
The Court of Appeals of Maryland has held that protocols for administration of lethal injection must be promulgated by regulations issued by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and reviewed by the General Assembly through its AELR Committee.
The court has directed that a full rule-making process occur and specified the type of issues that must be considered and the process that must be followed.
We are a free people who choose to govern ourselves by laws enacted by duly elected members of representative institutions. I remain firmly convinced that the death penalty is a costly and ineffective deterrent to violent crime. I also remain convinced that its continued use is inconsistent with the deepest founding principles of our nation and the highest aspirations of our people. But until such time as this law can be repealed I must discharge the duties of this office under the law as it exists, not as I wish it would be.