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NAACP Celebrates Passage of Death Penalty Repeal in Maryland


The NAACP released the following statement in response to the passage of a bill repealing the death penalty by the Maryland House of Delegates.

From Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP:

"Today we accomplished a milestone that the Maryland NAACP has worked toward for more than a century," stated Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. "Thank you to Governor O'Malley, Lt. Governor Brown, and the bill sponsors and supporters in the House and Senate that showed the backbone and moral clarity to end this injustice. Tomorrow we will wake up in a state where we will never again have to worry if someone is put to death because of their color, class or in spite of their innocence."

From Gerald Stansbury, President of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP:

"This is a big day for the state of Maryland," stated Maryland NAACP State Conference President Gerald Stansbury. "Today we join 17 other states and most of the Western world in banning the death penalty, thanks to the hard work of the Maryland CASE, Family Victims, and all the other organizations that joined the NAACP in making this historic day possible. This decision will make our justice system fairer and more effective. I hope it will inspire leaders in other states to follow suit."

The repeal bill passed by a vote of 82 to 56. The Maryland Senate has already passed the bill. With Maryland, six states have repealed the death penalty in the last six years and Maryland becomes the first state under the Mason-Dixon line to repeal the death penalty.

The NAACP is also working in Colorado and Delaware where legislation to repeal the death penalty was introduced this week.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.