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November 4, 2006

A new world of death penalty politics?

As detailed in this local article, a debate yesterday in the closely watched Maryland Senate race spotlighted a modern twist in the politics of the death penalty: a republican candidate criticizing the democratic candidate for not being against the death penalty.  Here are some highlights:

Differences among the three U.S. Senate candidates were most pointed when talking about the death penalty Friday in ... the debate among Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, tri-party candidate Kevin Zeese and Democrat Rep. Ben Cardin.

Both Zeese and Steele said they opposed the death penalty. Cardin said capital punishment should be applied only for "the worst of the worst," and criticized Steele for failing to review the state's use of the death penalty as he was supposed to do....

Steele hit back, questioning Cardin's vote against a bill that would have allowed Death Row convicts to use DNA evidence to prove their innocence.... "I am against the death penalty for a lot of good reasons, moral and ethical, but also for a lot of legal reasons," Steele, a former Catholic seminarian, said.  He said that if the sanction should be applied, it should not make a difference where the crime was committed. "That is the system we have right now, and there is no fairness in that," he said.  "It's only injustice."

November 4, 2006 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Geography affects all sentencing. Prosecutorial discretion, the liberal or conservative nature of any geographic population will always affect prosecutions and sentencing.

Geography affect the decisons of appellate judges and legislators as well.

All are aware of that.

The only way to avoid that is to have identical computer programs - unhackable, of course - select prosecutions, sentencing and appellate decisions.

Hardly a better choice.

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Nov 5, 2006 9:45:00 AM

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