For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Tom Rosenthal, ACLU national, 212-549-2666,
Meredith Curtis, ACLU of Maryland, 410-889-8555,

Maryland Set to Repeal Its Death Penalty

An Important Step Toward National Repeal, Says ACLU

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The American Civil Liberties Union said Maryland's repeal of its death penalty today is the latest sign of momentum in favor of ending the use of capital punishment nationwide. The Maryland Legislature today gave final approval to a bill that would make Maryland the sixth state in six years to repeal capital punishment.

"It is wonderful that yet another state has rightly recognized that capital punishment should end. Injustice afflicts the entire death penalty system," said Denny LeBoeuf, director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project.

Susan Goering, executive director of the ACLU of Maryland, said, "Repealing capital punishment will help eliminate racial and jurisdictional bias, reduce unnecessary waste of tax dollars, and eliminate the risk of executing an innocent person."

The five other states that have repealed the death penalty in the past six years are Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and New Jersey. Although a shrinking list of states continue the practice, both new death sentences and executions have dropped to the lowest levels since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.

"Capital punishment laws are incapable of providing a way to choose who should be executed that spares the innocent that is not fundamentally biased against people of color and the poor, and that does not cost more than imprisonment," said LeBoeuf.

Information on the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project is available at:


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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