Thursday, December 13, 2012

O'Malley will chat with NAACP president about death penalty

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), a likely 2016 presidential candidate, is chatting with the NAACP's president today about a number of issues, including the death penalty.

This year, the civil rights organization plans a major push for full repeal of the death penalty. The governor tried for a full repeal in 2009 -- but fell short in the Senate.

Three comments.

1. O'Malley has long opposed the death penalty so this isn't inspired by a push to get more liberal before the '16 primary. In fact, as the Sun notes, he made a big push for repeal in 2009.

2. That being said, winning repeal would buttress his reputation as a champion for engineering progressive victories -- handy for a '16 run.

3. Just two days ago, Amnesty International's, Brian Evans, wrote a piece in The Huffington Post, calling on O'Malley to push hard for penalty repeal in Maryland, so this is definitely something progressive activists are watching right now.

Governor O'Malley rightly touts his significant accomplishments and his ability to get things done. He became strongly associated with death penalty abolition when he led a march and personally introduced a repeal bill in 2009. It would be a shame for him to leave this important bit of business unfinished.