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    Maryland Commutes Sentences of State's Last Four Death Row Inmates to Life

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    The governor of the US state of Maryland said that he had conversations with the families of those killed by inmates before taking the decision. The governor’s decision also follows outgoing Attorney General of Maryland Doug Gansler’s questioning of the legality of carrying out death sentences.

    WASHINGTON, December 31 (Sputnik) — The governor for US state of Maryland on Wednesday announced in a statement that the state’s remaining four death row inmates will be moved to life without parole, as he prepares to leave office next month.

    “In my judgment, leaving these death sentences in place does not serve the public good of the people of Maryland present or future. For these reasons, I intend to commute Maryland’s four remaining death sentences to life without the possibility of parole,” Martin O’Malley said in a statement.

    Governor O’Malley abolished the death penalty in his state over a year ago.

    O’Malley added that he had conversations with the families of those killed by inmates before taking the decision. The governor’s decision also follows outgoing Attorney General of Maryland Doug Gansler’s questioning of the legality of carrying out death sentences.

    “Gubernatorial inaction, at this point in the legal process would, in my judgment, needlessly and callously subject survivors, and the people of Maryland, to the ordeal of an endless appeals process, with unpredictable twists and turns, and without any hope of finality or closure,” O’Malley said.

    In May 2013, Governor O’Malley signed into law a bill that repealed Maryland’s death penalty. Maryland along with 17 other US states including Washington, D.C. have abolished the death penalty, while 32 others still practice this form of punishment, according to an anti-capital punishment organization, Death Penalty Information Center.

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    life sentence, death sentence, United States, Maryland
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