Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment

Chapter 430 (SB 614)

The Commission shall study all aspects of capital punishment as currently and historically administered in the state. The Commission shall make recommendations concerning the application and administration of capital punishment in the state so that they are free from bias and error and achieve fairness and accuracy. The Commission shall hold public hearings and will be staffed by the GOCCP Statistical Analysis Center. The Commission shall make a final report, and if applicable, a minority report on its findings and recommendations in accordance with §2-1246 of the State Government Article, to the GA on or before December 15, 2008.

The recommendations shall address the following topic areas:

  1. Racial disparities;
  2. Jurisdictional disparities;
  3. Socio-economic disparities;
  4. A comparison of the costs associated with death sentences and the costs associated with sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole;
  5. A comparison of the effects of prolonged court cases involving capital punishment and those involving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole;
  6. The risk of innocent people being executed;
  7. The impact of DNA evidence in assuring the fairness and accuracy of capital cases.

Timeline

All events will be held in the Joint Hearing Room in Annapolis. The room is reserved from 3pm – 8pm for each date. The public hearing will be held from 3pm – 7pm, with a commission meeting held directly after from 7pm – 8pm.


Public Hearings and Meetings Schedule and Protocol

Public Hearing Schedule (each public hearing will be followed by a one hour commission meeting from 7-8pm)

Date Time Location Topic
July 28 3-7pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis Capital Punishment Statistics: Racial, Jurisdictional, and Socio-Economic Disparities
Aug 5 3-7pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis Continuation of First Topic; U.S. Supreme Court and Maryland Death Penalty Law
Aug 19 3-7pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis Effects of Prolonged Capital Court Cases; Cost Comparison of Death Penalty and Less-Than-Death Alternative Sentences
Sept 5 3-7pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis Risk of Innocent People Being Executed; Impact of DNA in Assuring Accuracy in Capital Cases; All Aspect of Capital Punishment as Currently and Historically Administered in the State
Sept 22 3-7pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis Public Hearing

Commission Meeting Schedule

Oct 7 3-8 pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis
Oct 24 3-8 pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis
Nov 12 3-8 pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis
Nov 20 3-8 pm Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis


Testifying at the Public Hearing

If you are a member of the public and wish to testify, you must sign up between 2:30 - 3:00pm on the day of the hearing. Sign-ups are on a first come first serve basis and will be made available at a table directly outside of the Joint Hearing Room. Members of the public must limit their testimony to a maximum of 3-5 minutes. Although it is encouraged that your testimony be representative of your candid opinions on or experiences with capital punishment, inappropriate or offensive language will not be tolerated. Please be mindful that the hearings are a public forum. Also, if possible, please provide a written copy of your testimony to the staff at the sign-up table or via email.

If you do not want to speak before the commission and public, but would still like to communicate your opinion, you are encouraged to submit written testimony. You may submit your written testimony to Patty Mochel at emailcrypter("Patty@goccp-state-md.org"); $crypt_email->output ($email, "Patty@goccp-state-md.org",""); ?> or in person at the hearing. Please include your name and contact information (either email or phone number) with your written testimony.

Be advised that all testimony (written and audio) will be available to the public on this website. Although your contact information will not be disclosed, your name will be a matter of public record on the transcript of the hearing and/or on your written submission.

Please contact Ráchael Wyckoff with any questions or concerns.


Protocols

The first portion of each public hearing shall be reserved for testimony from invited experts. Each expert will be given 15 minutes to present their oral testimony. Written submissions from expert witnesses would be appreciated a week in advance. The Commissioners will have approximately 15 minutes collectively to question the expert. The Commission Staff welcomes suggestions by any member of the Commission regarding experts to be invited.

Public testimony will begin immediately following the testimony of any invited experts. Public testimony shall be limited to 3-5 minutes per person. The Commissioners will have 2-3 minutes collectively to question members of the public on their testimony. The order of public testimony shall be determined by signup starting 30 minutes prior to each meeting at a table immediately outside the Joint Hearing Room.

The Commission shall accept written testimony from any person who wishes to submit it. If possible, written testimony should be submitted at or prior to the hearing covering the topic most relevant to the topic of the written testimony. However, the Commission is flexible and will accept testimony on any subject relevant to the Commission’s overall objectives in the interest of being as informed as possible.

An archive of all written and audio materials shall be maintained by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention’s Statistical Analysis Center. This archive shall be placed on a publicly accessible website in a timely manner.


2008 Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment Final Report to the General Assembly

The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment was created by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in the 2008 legislative session for the purpose of studying all aspects of capital punishment as currently and historically administered in the State. The Commission held five public hearings where testimony from experts and members of the public was presented and discussed. The Commission held five additional meetings to discuss the evidence presented at the hearings. The Commission has made a recommendation concerning capital punishment in the State, so that its application and administration are free from bias and error and achieve fairness and accuracy. The Commission presented this recommendation in this final report and a minority report in accordance with §2-1246 of the State Government Article, to the General Assembly on December 12, 2008.


Staff Contact Information

Patty Mochel
Communications Manager
Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention
300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 1105
Baltimore, MD 21286
Direct Office: (410) 821-2845
Main Office: (410) 821-2828
Fax: (410) 321-3116
E-mail: PMochel@goccp.state.md.us

Office of the Governor