“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.
“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In May 2013, Governor O’Malley signed into law a bill that repealed Maryland’s death penalty.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.