death penalty

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A House committee has voted to table a bill repealing Delaware's death penalty.

Tuesday's vote by the Judiciary Committee came after its meeting last week ended in confusion, with supporters of the bill failing to win approval to table it and opponents prevented from taking a vote against it.

But majority Democrats acknowledged that the bill did not have enough votes to be released from committee last week.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A House committee is reconvening to consider a bill repealing Delaware's death penalty.

Members of the Judiciary Committee ended a meeting last week in confusion, after supporters of the bill failed to win approval to table it and opponents were prevented from taking a vote against it.

Majority Democrats acknowledged, however, that the bill did not have enough votes to be released from committee.


Governor To Sign Death Penalty Repeal

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to sign a measure repealing capital punishment in Maryland into law.

Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for O'Malley, confirmed on Thursday that O'Malley plans to sign the bill at a bill-signing ceremony on May 2.

Maryland will become the 18th state to ban the death penalty. Connecticut did so last year. Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York also have abolished it in recent years.

delaware repeal project,

Death Penalty

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill to repeal Delaware's death penalty has stalled in a House committee after barely clearing the Senate.

Members of the Judiciary Committee took no action on the measure Wednesday after it appeared it would fail to win passage.

The measure barely cleared the Senate last month on an 11-10 vote after chief sponsor Sen. Karen Peterson removed a controversial provision that would have spared the lives of 17 inmates awaiting execution in Delaware.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Medical marijuana and a measure addressing legal responsibilities related to dog bites are some of the remaining issues before Maryland lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session.

The session is scheduled to end at midnight Monday. Most major bills have already been passed, including: one relating to gun control; a gas tax increase; a Baltimore schools funding plan; and a repeal of the death penalty.

The medical marijuana bill will put Maryland on track to have a program at academic medical research centers that decide to participate.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill repealing Delaware's death penalty has been revised to remove a provision that would spare the lives of 17 killers already on death row.

Senators overwhelmingly approved an amendment striking the provision just before beginning debate Tuesday on the bill itself.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland is poised to become the 18th state in the nation to abolish the death penalty.

A death penalty repeal bill has already passed the state Senate and is expected to pass the House of Delegates on Friday.

Supporters of the repeal argue that capital punishment is costly, error-prone, racially biased and a poor deterrent of crime. Opponents say it's a necessary tool to punish lawbreakers who commit the most egregious crimes.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Opponents of capital punishment are calling for an end to Delaware's death penalty.

More than 100 people gathered Tuesday in the state Senate chambers as lawmakers announced the pending introduction of a bill that would do away with the death penalty and prevent the 17 inmates already on death row from being executed.

Opponents of the death penalty say it's morally wrong, ineffective as a deterrent to violent crime and far more costly than putting killers in prison for life.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to take up a measure to repeal the death penalty.

The Senate is set to consider amendments to the bill on Friday.

A vote on the measure is not expected until next week.

Maryland has five men on death row. The state's last execution was in 2005.

Maryland's death penalty has been on hold since a 2006 court ruling found the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee.

Gun Control

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate committee has approved a sweeping gun-control measure.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7-4 late Thursday night in favor of the bill, which is a top priority of Gov. Martin O'Malley's legislative agenda. The vote sends the legislation to the full Senate for debate next week.

In one of the biggest changes, the legislation would prohibit someone from owning a handgun if he or she has been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons.

Maryland Citizens Against State Executions

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is nearing a vote on a measure that would repeal the state's death penalty.

The committee could vote as soon as Thursday.

Last week, Gov. Martin O'Malley urged lawmakers in both the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee to ban capital punishment, calling the practice costly and a poor deterrent of violent crime.

The Democrat governor has said that he believes the General Assembly has the will to ban capital punishment this session.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley urged lawmakers to pass a measure that would repeal the death penalty in Maryland.

The Democratic governor and death penalty opponent denounced the practice of capital punishment during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, calling it inaccurate, costly, racially biased and ineffective in deterring violent criminals.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley will testify in Annapolis on a measure to repeal the death penalty in Maryland.

O'Malley is scheduled to speak Thursday before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

The Democratic governor, who opposes capital punishment, pushed for repeal in 2009 and fell short.

O'Malley says he believes the Maryland General Assembly has the will to ban capital punishment this session.


Audio Feature By Don Rush 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley is calling on lawmakers to take up the tough challenge of addressing transportation funding this session.

O'Malley is giving his seventh State of the State speech of his administration on Wednesday.

The Democratic governor also is touting investments in his budget to improve public education and build new schools. The governor's budget proposal includes $336 million for school construction.

omalley, biopic

State of the State Address

Governor Martin O’Malley is set to give his seventh State of the State address to the General Assembly at noon today.

Legislators will be looking to see what the governor has to say about funding transportation projects which could include a hike tax hike.

Unlike previous years the state is not facing a dire budgetary shortfall that at one point approached $2 billion.

The Maryland Democrat has also joined other counter parts in proposing gun control measures and school safety legislation.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Relatives of five murder victims are joining a rally in Annapolis to repeal Maryland's death penalty.

Speakers at the Monday afternoon event include Hagerstown resident Marty Price. His father was convicted of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Price's stepmother and stepsister in 1988.

His nephew Christopher Nicholson was murdered in 2007 while serving as a Smithsburg police officer.

Death Penalty

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says he believes the Maryland General Assembly has the will to repeal capital punishment this session.

O'Malley, who said Tuesday he will be making repeal a priority, says the death penalty is a waste of resources that could be better used to fight crime in more productive ways.

BALTIMORE (AP) - The NAACP is joining Gov. Martin O’Malley and lawmakers in a call to repeal the death penalty.

Benjamin Jealous, the CEO of the National Association of Colored People, will participate in the news conference on Tuesday in Annapolis.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and Gerald Stansbury, president of the NAACP’s state conference, also are scheduled to attend.

The potential of repealing capital punishment in Maryland has been highlighted since the General Assembly convened last week for the state of its legislative session.

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller says he will allow a vote on a measure that would repeal the death penalty.

Miller personally supports the death penalty.

But the Democrat said he has told Governor Martin O’Malley he would give him an opportunity to have a vote.

In the past it has been buried in a Senate committee.

Miller told the Baltimore Sun that if the Governor has the votes he will allow it to go to the floor.

WrightJermaine, mug shot

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A judge who overturned the conviction of former death-row inmate Jermaine Wright says Wright's trial attorney never knew about an attempted robbery that may have helped his defense case.

Wednesday's ruling came in response to the state Supreme Court's request for more information before deciding whether to reinstate Wright's conviction and death sentence.

Leslie Small, Mug Shot

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has ordered a new penalty hearing for a taxi driver sentenced to death for the fatal stabbing of a 78-year-old Sussex County woman.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, the court agreed that a prosecutor improperly suggested to jurors that Leslie Small was simply making excuses for his behavior at his penalty hearing in an effort to avoid the death penalty.

Officer Down Memorial Page

DOVER, Del. (AP) Delaware's highest court has unanimously upheld the conviction and death sentence of a man who killed a police officer in Georgetown in 2009.

Derrick Powell's lawyers had claimed that ordering him to be executed was a cruel punishment because other men involved in a vehicle pursuit that lead to Officer Chad Spicer's death received light sentences.

But on Thursday, justices on the Delaware Supreme Court disagreed.

Lawyers for convicted killer Derrick Powell are fighting the death penalty imposed for the murder of Georgetown police officer Chad Spicer in 2009.

They suggested to the Delaware State Supreme Court that their client may not be the true killer.

The attorneys said that Powell may have just had the weapon on his lap and that the gun discharged during the collision that ended the police chase.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The attorney general's office is asking the Delaware Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling throwing out the conviction of a man sentenced to death for killing a Wilmington liquor store clerk in 1991.

Prosecutors argued Thursday that the judge erred in ruling that Jermaine Wright's confession to police was defective because he had not been properly advised of his rights against self-incrimination and to have an attorney appointed to represent him.


     DOVER, Del. (AP) - Federal public defenders trying to halt the execution of convicted Delaware killer Shannon Johnson say there is overwhelming evidence that he is mentally disabled and thus ineligible for execution.

     The public defenders made the assertion in a filing submitted to a federal appeals court in Philadelphia.

     The filing was in response to an appeal by state prosecutors of a federal district judge's decision Wednesday that halted Johnson's scheduled execution early Friday.