“Outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley took the state’s last four inmates off death row, commuting their sentences to life in prison without parole in one of his final acts in office.” O’Malley’s office noted that the state’s legislature had abolished the death penalty with a law that took effect in May 2013 and that the state’s courts and attorney general questioned whether the state has legal authority to carry out death sentences that were already imposed.
O’Malley said in the statement that he’d met with the families of the victims of the four convicted killers whose sentences he commuted, and said they would suffer through “the additional torment of an un-ending legal process.” “In my judgment, leaving these death sentences in place does not serve the public good of the people of Maryland — present or future,” O’Malley said. “In the final analysis, there is one truth that stands between and before all of us,” O’Malley said in a statement. “That truth is this — few of us would ever wish for our children or grandchildren to kill another human being or to take part in the killing of another human being. The legislature has expressed this truth by abolishing the death penalty in Maryland.”