The Washington Post runs a story about the valiant efforts to repeal the death penalty in Maryland: Repeal of Md. Death Penalty Still Seems Out of Reach:
Advocates of repealing Maryland’s death penalty are hopeful that New Jersey’s landmark decision to end capital punishment will provide momentum heading into next month’s legislative session. But interviews with key lawmakers suggest that a permanent repeal during the 90-day session remains a long shot.
A bid to replace Maryland’s death penalty with life without parole failed by a single vote in a Senate committee during the last regular session, which ended in April, despite high-profile support from Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). In testimony before the legislature, O’Malley argued that capital punishment is “inherently unjust” and that money is wasted on appeals that could be better spent fighting violent crime.
In the months since then, repeal advocates have arranged meetings between lawmakers and well-known death penalty opponents, including David Kaczynski, brother of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber. They have hired as a lobbyist the former chief of staff to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). They are planning several events to spotlight the issue after lawmakers return to Annapolis on Jan. 9, including a visit by suspense novelist Scott Turow, a death penalty opponent.
Yeah, sure, I’m definitely going to agree with the Unabomber’s brother…
Maryland has had an effective moratorium on capital punishment since last December, when the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ruled that the state’s procedures for lethal injections had not been properly adopted. Five prisoners currently sit on Maryland’s death row.
For executions to resume, the O’Malley administration must issue new regulations — a step the governor has resisted. If the legislature tries to abolish the death penalty and fails for a second year in a row, pressure will mount on O’Malley to issue the rules, some lawmakers said. Miller, who supports the death penalty, said O’Malley should have done so already.
“When he took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the laws of Maryland, and the law of Maryland is now being subverted,” Miller said.
Under Maryland law, those guilty of first-degree murder are eligible for execution if prosecutors can prove at least one of 10 aggravating factors, such as killing a law enforcement officer or committing murder while in prison. Last session, Mooney expressed a willingness to reduce the number of aggravating factors and narrow eligibility for the death penalty, an idea that few senators would support.
In and of itself, unremarkable.
You know, besides the fact if you bother reading the whole article (don’t, it’s a waste of time), you’ll notice that there is a complete lack of coverage of any pro-death penalty group, any victim rights group, or anyone that supports the death penalty (except for a few members of the legislature) meanwhile the anti-death penalty groups get free advertising for a rally they’re holding!
No mention of how the death penalty has been documented to reduced the rate of homicides, ever.
And the worst part about this story is that it comes two days after the burial of a Smithsburg police officer that was murdered in the line of duty, a story that The Washington Post refused to report on.
The Washington Times, with a little over one-seventh of the daily circulation of The Washington Post, however, did manage to cover it: Funerals mark day of violence:
Hundreds of mourners and law-enforcement officers yesterday packed a high school gymnasium to honor a Western Maryland policeman slain during a night of violence in Washington County.At another Christmas Eve funeral 25 miles away in Hancock, family and friends bade farewell to Alison L. Munson, whose slaying put Officer Christopher S. Nicholson in harm’s way Wednesday night.
Douglas W. Pryor, the former boyfriend charged with stabbing Miss Munson to death, purportedly fatally shot Officer Nicholson after fleeing from Miss Munson’s apartment. He remains in custody without bail, recovering from wounds he sustained in a shootout with police.
Other speakers, including fiancee Desiree Grimes, remembered Officer Nicholson, of Sharpsburg, as a cheerful and determined young man who strove to become a police officer despite his chronic asthma.
A friend and fellow 2006 Western Maryland Police Academy graduate, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Joel Footen said that if Officer Nicholson were alive, he “would tell us to step up, do what needs to be done.”
The funeral was held in Williamsport because Officer Nicholson graduated from the high school there in 2000.
Miss Munson’s funeral, at the Orchard Ridge Church of God, near Hancock, also was crowded. The Rev. Jeffrey Hawbaker said the small, white country church was filled with at least 100 mourners.
Miss Munson, a 31-year-old dental hygienist, and Mr. Pryor, a 29-year-old mechanical contracting worker, had two young children, a son and a daughter. They had lived together in the Smithsburg area for about 10 years until last month, when she moved into an apartment south of Hagerstown after obtaining a protective order against him, according to court records and neighbors. She was a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School in Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
Police say Mr. Pryor drove the children Wednesday night from Smithsburg to Miss Munson’s apartment, where he stabbed her and stuffed her body in a kitchen closet. He then drove the children back home, handed them off to a sister-in-law and shot Officer Nicholson, who was parked a short distance away, awaiting backup, according to charging documents.
Here’s a little tip to you guys at The WaPo: First, stop trying to pick fights with bloggers, stop waiting for press releases from your favorite advocacy group, go outside your office, get in your car, and do some damn reporting!
You know, the kind of stuff that made you famous back in the day: like the stuff that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did?