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Published on Mar 27, 2013
On March 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed repeal of the death penalty, a bill sponsored by Governor Martin O'Malley. Many murder victims' family members in Maryland actively supported the bill.
The original repeal bill included an appropriation of the savings from repeal to aid survivors of homicide victims. This funding was stripped from the bill due to procedural objections, though legislators from both sides of the death penalty debate strongly support allocating funds for survivors of homicide victims. Thankfully, Governor O'Malley realized the importance of resources and services for survivors and pledged to provide it.
To date, there is a patchwork of services offered in the State of Maryland. From State's Attorney's Offices to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board under the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to small nonprofit organizations with dedicated staff and volunteers, yet Maryland does not have a comprehensive statewide policy and or an approach to ensure that all survivors of homicide victims are properly served throughout the state.
According to the latest Maryland Uniform Crime Report, there were a total of 398 murders in the State of Maryland (2011). Homicides occur across the State of Maryland, yet 80% of all homicides are from Prince Georges County and Baltimore City, respectively. These two jurisdictions are predominately African American leaving survivors of homicide victims without adequate resources and services.
A special thanks to Bonnita Spikes, Vicki Schieber, Marty Price, Ricardo Wiggs, Erricka Bridgeford, Sarah Gardner and Ben Jealous for telling the story of your loved ones. We appreciate your patience, your candor, and your passion. Words could not ever articulate how appreciative we are for your sacrifices.
*copyright 2013 Equal Justice USA Video was created by MD CASE in partnership with Equal Justice USA. Executive Producers - Syieda Penn, Jux Alexander, and Joseph Ramsey