Delegate Pat McDonough, R-Baltimore County, said Friday that he will introduce legislation mandating the use of the death penalty for at least five crimes, including mass murders.
He also will call for the death penalty for the murder of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, or in cases involving a contract murder or a serial killer.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert, has said that he will allow a bill repealing the death penalty to come out of committee where it has been stuck before if the governor demonstrates that he has the necessary votes in the full senate.
McDonough acknowledged that Gov. Martin O’Malley’s push to repeal the death penalty this session has gained traction, but is determined to broaden the debate through the introduction of his bills.
“If I didn’t introduce these bills, these subjects would not be brought up,” he said.
McDonough, who hosts a radio talk show on WCBM 680 in Baltimore, said people who are opposed to the death penalty are “out in front of us,” speaking about supporters of capital punishment. He added that there is a good chance that a repeal of the death penalty will pass this year. But he said confidently that if it does pass, it will be petitioned to referendum.
“These groups that support capital punishment have to have something to rally around,” McDonough said. “This legislation, (the five mandates) becomes a format, which people can rally around.”