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Maryland's O'Malley Calls Off State's Remaining Executions

Image: Maryland's O'Malley Calls Off State's Remaining Executions
Maryland Gov. Martin O Malley, D-Md. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 01:31 PM

The governor of Maryland commuted the sentences for the US state's four remaining death row inmates Wednesday, a year and a half after capital punishment was abolished there.

Governor Martin O'Malley said he had reduced the sentences to life in prison without parole, after speaking with the families of those slain by the convicted killers.

"It is my hope that these commutations might bring about a greater degree of closure for all of the survivors and their families," he said.

Even though the four were sentenced before the death penalty was abolished, Maryland's attorney general determined the executions would be illegal under the ban, announced in May 2013.

A total of 29 states plus the US capital Washington have either abolished the death penalty or no longer use it.

II 2014, the number of executions in the United States fell to its lowest in 20 years , with a total of 35 inmates executed across the country, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Three states alone -- Missouri, Texas and Florida -- carried out 80 percent of the executions.

Death penalty opponents allege that over the course of 2014 in the states of Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona, lengthy executions -- which at times left inmates suffering for more than an hour -- amounted to the "cruel and unusual" punishment forbidden by the US Constitution.

This helped contribute to the lowest number of death penalty sentences in 40 years, according to the DPIC, which reported that only 72 people were handed down the punishment.

 

© AFP 2017

 
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The governor of Maryland commuted the sentences for the US state's four remaining death row inmates Wednesday, a year and a half after capital punishment was abolished there.Governor Martin O'Malley said he had reduced the sentences to life in prison without parole, after...
US, justice, execution, omalley, calls, off
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2014-31-31
Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 01:31 PM
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