Will Governor O’Malley Finally Keep His Oath of Office

As discussed on last week’s Conservative Refuge Radio, one of the last pieces of unfinished business from the O’Malley administration is the fate of four inmates on Maryland’s death row.  Despite promising in his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws of the state, including the death penalty, Governor O’Malley allowed a de facto moratorium to persist on executions during his terms as Governor.

Rather than fixing the administrative rules which led to a 2006 Maryland Court of Appeals ruling stopping executions in Maryland, Governor O’Malley sought for years to abolish the death penalty.  Governor O’Malley, it appears, never intended to faithfully the lawful death sentences of inmates on death row when he took office, nor exercise his power to commute their sentences.

Despite achieving his goal of a repeal of the death penalty several years into his term, Governor O’Malley has failed to deal with the four remaining murderers on death row.  Martin O’Malley has allowed these condemned murders, and the families of their victims, exist in a legal limbo with no end in sight.

Reports now are that Governor O’Malley has reached out to victim’s families.  Speculation is that this outreach is a precursor to a commutation of the death sentences given to these murders.  At least one family opposes this commutation with another simply wishing some finality to the sentence and an end to decades of litigation.

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Commutations by Governor O’Malley would not be justice given the crimes these men have committed but it would, at least, be an act honoring O’Malley’s oath of office.  If he fails to take any action, he will have needlessly extenuated these cases and leave Governor-elect Hogan to do O’Malley’s job for him. It would be a cowardly continuation of the cynical record of the O’Malley administration in dealing with the state’s most violent criminals.

Will Martin O’Malley, in this one area at least, fulfill his oath of office?

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