Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Maryland

MVFHR Board Chair Vicki Schieber is one of the victims' family members quoted in this CBS article about yesterday's hearings in Maryland:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The end of the death penalty in Maryland. That’s what some lawmakers and advocates are hoping to accomplish by the end of this legislative session. Derek Valcourt explains they’ve got some hurdles to clear first.

They made their case to a House committee Tuesday but it’s a Senate committee that could give them the most resistance. Supporters say they are one vote shy of getting out of a Senate committee to the full floor, where they say they have enough votes in both chambers to pass it.

Erricka Bridgeford says justice for the 2007 murder of her brother won’t come by lethal injection.

“It’s not justice to me to have another dead body in place of my brother’s dead body,” Bridgeford said.

She’s one of several advocates calling on lawmakers to repeal Maryland’s death penalty. She’s joined by the NAACP, which points to the outrage over the September execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis as proof that attitudes toward the death penalty are changing.

“It’s a known fact that racism exists. We know that our system is not foolproof, so in that sense of the word, we need to move forward at this time not to have another Troy Davis,” said Gerald Stansbury, NAACP.

“It can happen like that,” said Kirk Bloodsworth.

Bloodsworth knows about wrongful convictions; he was released from Maryland’s death row after he was exonerated by DNA.

“I don’t want to see anybody executed,” Bloodsworth said.

“My daughter was murdered in 1998,” said Vicki Schieber.

Schieber argues the lengthy appeals in the death penalty process can be cruel to crime victims.

“It puts them through hell. There’s no better word. They can go on for years and years and years,” Schieber said.

Read the full article.

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