MARYLAND BRIEFING

MARYLAND BRIEFING

Gov. Martin O'Malley said a report on capital punishment will take months to finish.
Gov. Martin O'Malley said a report on capital punishment will take months to finish. (Mark Gail - The Washington Post)
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Friday, April 18, 2008

STATE POLITICS

Special Election Set for June 17

Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that Maryland will hold a special election June 17 to temporarily fill the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.).

The announcement came as O'Malley (D) signed emergency legislation allowing a general election for the seat without first holding primaries. The candidates will be chosen by Democratic and Republican party committees, a move that O'Malley said will save the state about $1 million.

Wynn, whose district includes parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, has announced he will resign from Congress on May 31. He was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary in February by nonprofit executive Donna F. Edwards, who will take office in January if she wins the November general election in the heavily Democratic district.

The Prince George's and Montgomery County Democratic central committees and the Montgomery Republican Central Committee have scheduled meetings for next week to nominate candidates in the special election. The Republican committee in Prince George's has not set a date.

-- John Wagner and Rosalind S. Helderman

O'Malley to Decide on Death Penalty

Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that he has yet to decide whether his administration will put forward regulations to allow the death penalty to resume in Maryland after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that upheld the constitutionality of lethal injections.

Maryland has had a de facto moratorium on executions since December 2006, when its highest court ruled that the procedures for administering lethal injections were not properly adopted.

O'Malley, a death penalty opponent, noted that the Maryland legislature recently authorized a study of capital punishment that will take several months to complete and has a broader scope than the issue examined by the Supreme Court. "They did not look at whether [the death penalty] is a good policy, whether it's a deterrent, whether it's effective in reducing violent crime," O'Malley said.

Republican leaders have called on O'Malley to allow his administration to issue the new regulations. Yesterday, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said he agrees that regulations should be issued.


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