When Gov. Martin O’Malley appeared before the Maryland Senate last week, he made an unconventional argument that is becoming increasingly popular in cash-strapped states: abolish the death penalty to cut costs.I'm for whatever it takes to abolish the death penalty. Capital punishment does not deter crime, it is racist, kills innocents and serves no purpose other than vengeance. The sooner we get rid of it, the better we move towards becoming a civilized society.
Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat and a Roman Catholic who has cited religious opposition to the death penalty in the past, is now arguing that capital cases cost three times as much as homicide cases where the death penalty is not sought. “And we can’t afford that,” he said, “when there are better and cheaper ways to reduce crime.”
Lawmakers in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and New Hampshire have made the same argument in recent months as they push bills seeking to repeal the death penalty, and experts say such bills have a good chance of passing in Maryland, Montana and New Mexico.Death penalty opponents say they still face an uphill battle, but they are pleased to have allies raising the economic argument.