Despite repealing death penalty, Maryland legislator wants special death penalty courts

In 2013, Maryland’s legislature repealed the state’s death penalty statute; in 2014 the governor commute the sentences of those remaining on death row to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. That said, and in an effort the parallels a similar proposal in Oklahoma, one Maryland legislator wants a death penalty court (“Aggravated Murder Court”).

HB 434 would amend the state’s constitution to allow for its creation in the event the state ever brings back the death penalty. The Aggravated Murder Court would have sole jurisdiction to hear cases in which the punishment of death is an option.

HB 434 is in the House Judiciary Committee.