Polls on the death penalty show public opinion very much divided: a majority of Maryland voters favors keeping capital punishment on the books, according to the pollsters, but most respondents also do not believe it deters criminals.
These spouses, siblings, and parents told legislators that exacting revenge would not help them heal, nor end their pain. They were adamant that countering one murder with a state-sanctioned killing would prolong and exacerbate their suffering.
Four states -- Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey and New York have renounced capital punishment in the past five years. The handwriting is on the wall -- the death penalty is a failed, antiquated experiment on its way out.