The failed effort to give Maryland voters the opportunity to return to the death penalty and executions is instructive. As proponents of a pro-death penalty ballot initiative stated, "The groundswell of support across the state just wasn't there."
Maryland's had the death penalty since 1638; that is, until last Thursday when Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed a law abolishing it. You could say that after nearly 400 years, Maryland has finally entered the age of enlightenment.
In 1999, a French journalist made a bold prediction to me. "Your country will abolish capital punishment in the next 25 years." I thought of our conversation on Friday when I learned that Maryland will ban capital punishment.