CRIME

NAACP seeks end of death penalty in Maryland

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Jealous said the Baltimore-based NAACP is focusing on two other states where they believe there is opportunity for repeal, Connecticut and California.

"Even in Georgia, people see an opportunity to start sort of chipping away at the death penalty in a way that we haven't seen, because the state is still on fire" over the Davis case, Jealous said.

Maryland's death penalty has been on hold since a 2006 Court of Appeals ruling found the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee. Executions can't resume until new protocols are developed for a legislative panel to approve.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a death penalty opponent, pushed hard for repeal in his first term, but the measure stalled in the state Senate.

Instead, lawmakers compromised by restricting capital punishment to murder cases with biological evidence such as DNA, videotaped evidence of a murder or a videotaped confession.

Maryland has five men on death row, and five inmates have been executed since Maryland reinstated the death penalty in 1978.

Wesley Baker was the last person to be executed in Maryland, in December 2005.

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