Thursday, May 2, 2013

Should we reconsider our view of Maryland?

As we have noted before, there is some evidence to suggest that the state of Maryland is a hellhole (or perhaps a Hell Hole). However, as a counterargument to the Maryland-haters out there, one might point out that today Maryland became the 18th state to abolish the death penalty. According to this, Maryland is the sixth state that has abolished the death penalty in the in the 21st Century.

The trend seems to be toward abolishing rather than instituting the death penalty. This made me wonder what was the last state to start using the death penalty. People with a keen grasp of legal history may recall that from the time that the United States Supreme Court decided Furman v. Georgia in 1972 until it decided Gregg v. Georgia in 1976, there was a moratorium on the death penalty in this country. While many states resumed imposing the death sentence right away, New York did not do so until 1995. However, New York's death penalty statute was declared unconstitutional in 2004 and the New York legislature has not taken any steps to pass another death penalty statute. So, I guess the 1995 adoption of the death penalty did not take.

Are there any states that have never had a death penalty? No, but Michigan banned the death penalty in 1846—approximately nine years after it became a state in 1837. 

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