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Death penalty repeal reduces murders? Numbers say otherwise

8:15 AM EST, January 4, 2013

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In his recent commentary ("Unrepresentative committee blocks Md. death penalty repeal vote," Jan. 2), Gerald Stansbury writes that ending the death penalty "would save Maryland millions of dollars and prevent future murders."

While I agree it would save the money, I disagree that it would reduce the number of murders. Using the website Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, their records show that since 1978, Baltimore County has executed four out of five inmates on death row.

Baltimore City executed only one person.

However, Baltimore City ended the year 2012 with just over 200 recorded murders and Baltimore County ended up with 24 murders.

To me, this proves that eliminating the death penalty will not reduce the murder rate in any way, shape or form.

Again, using information from MCASE, there are currently five inmates on death row. Only one of the is from Baltimore City. The others are from Baltimore County and Prince Georges County. Three were sentenced in 1984, one in 1996 and the other in 1998.

So another way to look at it, no one has been sentenced to death in almost 15 years. As 1998 was the last time someone was sentenced to death, how many murders have occurred since that day not only in the city but in the counties as well? And I am sure more people are murdered in Baltimore than all the counties combined.

Even when the murder cases are apparently premeditated, the death penalty is seldom applied.

Mike Jayroe, Edgewood

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