Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The latest poll from Goucher College shows that the majority of those polled do not see capital punishment as a deterrent to criminals.
A majority of Marylanders surveyed in a newly released poll say they favor retaining the death penalty in Maryland but appear to prefer life in prison without parole as a punishment for murder. The poll released by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College found that 51 percent of those surveyed favored retaining capital punishment in Maryland compared to 43 percent who said they favored abolishing the law. The poll released Wednesday afternoon comes just before the House of Delegates takes a scheduled preliminary vote on a bill to abolish the death penalty. That vote is scheduled for some time after 6 p.m. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed disagree that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder, while 37 …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A bill to repeal capital punishment is expected to pass out of a Senate committee with the vote of the Baltimore County Democrat.
The effort to repeal the death penalty in Maryland was stalled by the vote of one Baltimore County Democratic senator but it may pass this year because of another. Sen. Bobby Zirkin said he will vote in favor of a bill that repeals capital punishment in the state. "I'm forever torn on this issue, have been and probably always will be," Zirkin said in an interview Thursday. "I'm extremely jealous of people who fall comfortably on one side of the debate or the other." In the end, Zirkin said he made the decision to vote for repealing capital punishment based on testimony of some victims who said the death penalty provided little closure because of lengthy appeals and that the state hasn't executed anyone in nearly a decade. Zirkin said the …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
'Get Maryland Moving' is calling on the Maryland General Assembly to fund state transportation projects.
A new coalition is advocating for dollars for state transportation projects, including the planned 16-mile Purple Line light rail that would connect Bethesda with New Carrollton, The Washington Post reports. Get Maryland Moving, a coalition of groups, including the Montgomery County and Bethesda-Chevy Chase chambers of commerce, Purple Line Now, Action Committee for Transit, and the League of Women Voters of Maryland, is pushing for state legislators to make new revenue for transportation projects a top priority this legislative session, according to the group’s website. Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach has proposed a 3-cent gas tax that would raise about $300 million for transportation …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Bill would force gun owners to carry a minimum of $250,000 of coverage.
A number of gun control measures recently have been introduced into the Maryland Legislature, including one that would require anyone who owns a firearm to have a minimum of $250,000 liability insurance. Sens. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) and Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) are the sponsors of Senate Bill 577, which would require anyone who owns a firearm to have a minimum of $250,000 of liability insurance. The bill is similar to legislation being proposed in Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts. The Baltimore Sun views the legislation as being “designed to harness market forces to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people the same way the cost of car insurance can keep bad drivers off the road.” How the mandated …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Capital punishment in Maryland already is effectively dead, according to some prosecutors.
Saturday, February 9
By Julia Maldonado, Capital News Service A bill that would repeal the death penalty in Maryland appears to have the votes needed to clear the Senate, adding momentum to Gov. Martin O’Malley and proponents’ push for repeal. But some prosecutors and other death penalty supporters say a repeal would only make official what is already true—capital punishment doesn’t really exist in Maryland. The state has one of the most restrictive death penalty laws in the country. Combine that with bureaucratic opposition from the governor and judges’ reluctance to impose the ultimate penalty, and even the most violent criminals are not likely to ever be executed, some say. “I don’t want them to ever have the opportunity to do it again,” said Sen. Kathleen …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
A state senator wants a new state bird; one man's technolgical fortress is his castle; and the Senate president feels snubbed by Obama.
It's not a statue in front of the office building that bares his name but Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller did receive a bust of himself this week courtesy of the Regional Manufacturing Institute. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Perry Hall Democrat, gave a sneak preview of the small, light-weight bust of Miller moments before presenting it to the Senate's top dog. "You can't have too much Mike Miller," Klausmeier said. The technology is similar to what was used in a scene of Jurassic Park 3 where a copy of a velociraptor's larynx was recreated. The institute offered legislators in Annapolis the opportunity to have themselves scanned into a computer and get busts of themselves. Miller seemed impressed with the petite bust but joked that it …
Hundreds head to Annapolis to testify for and against a package of bills that would tighten gun regulations in Maryland.
Gun control supporters and opponents descended on a hearing room in Annapolis to debate a package of bills that is likely to be as divisive as any issue during the 90-day General Assembly session. Gov. Martin O'Malley said his legislation was driven by the shootings in Newtown, CT. and more than 500 shooting deaths in Maryland last year. "We are still losing too many of our citizens to gun violence," O'Malley said. "There's no such thing in our state as a spare American." Hundreds gathered outside the State House Wednesday morning, hours before O'Malley was to testify, to rally against the proposed laws. A line of people waiting to testify stretched outside the Senate office building. More than 500 people signed up to testify even though …
A comparison of existing state gun laws and proposed changes at the federal and state level.
Thursday, February 7
By Allen Etzler Capital News Service Gov. Martin O’Malley and President Barack Obama have proposed gun control and public safety legislation in response to the December school shootings in Newtown, CT. Here are some current Maryland laws, and the proposed legislative changes: Current Maryland Gun Laws Handguns: Assault Weapons: Ammunition Magazines: Proposed Changes to Maryland Law Proposed Changes to Federal Law
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Hundreds gather on the day Gov. Martin O'Malley testifies in favor of gun legislation he proposed earlier this year.
Wednesday, February 6
By Rashee Raj Kumar Capital News Service Hundreds of gun rights advocates rallied outside the State House Wednesday in opposition to new gun control measures proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley. As O’Malley testified in favor of new gun restrictions before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, protesters outside said his proposals to ban assault weapons, limit magazine sizes and strengthen licensing measures would erode their rights. Jay Hanlon, a retiree from Silver Spring, held a sign arguing that the Second Amendment protected gun ownership, including assault weapons, as a check against “Domestic Enemies.” “That’s the weapon we need to defend ourselves against a government gone bad—against our oppressors,” said Hanlon, 65. Kerry …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The governor's seventh State of the State address is seen by many as a prelude to an expected run for president in 2016.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Wednesday urged lawmakers to pass his offshore wind bill and find more money for transportation projects—though he offered no details on a gas tax initiative. In his seventh State of the State speech, the Democratic governor also used his 35-minute address to remind legislators of what he sees as his major accomplishments since taking office in 2007. In many ways, the speech seemed to lay the groundwork for what many expect will be a run for President in 2016. Choice was a major theme in O'Malley's speech. "Better choices. Better results. The proof is in our progress," O'Malley said. [Read O'Malley's speech as prepared or watch it.] O'Malley's Legislative Wish List On the top of O'Malley's wish list are the passage of …