Saving Citizens from the Theater of Capital Punishment
In good-things news, Martin O'Malley, term-limit lame-duck governor of Maryland, announced that he will use gubernatorial authority to commute the sentences of Maryland's last four death-row inmates to "life without possibility for parole".
He had previously spearheaded the successful legislative effort to repeal the death penalty in 2013 (which was not challenged by referendum, due to lack of signatures), which left the status of the five men then on death row in question, and by this action has ensured that my home state has (I sincerely hope) executed a human for the last time. (There were five men on death row when the legislature struck down capital punishment; one has since died of natural causes.)
But his rhetoric surrounding the action is the most interesting (to me):
The question at hand is whether any public good is served by allowing these essentially un-executable sentences to stand...
Gubernatorial inaction -- at this point in the legal process -- would, in my judgment, needlessly and callously subject survivors, and