“I continue to believe that there are certain crimes that are so brutal and so vile that they call for society to impose the ultimate punishment,´´ Governor Parris Glendening said in issuing a stay of execution Thursday for convicted killer Wesley Eugene Baker. Baker was due to die by lethal injection next week.
“However, reasonable questions have been raised in Maryland and across the country about the application of the death penalty,´´ the governor added.
Glendening´s moratorium declaration is the second statewide halt to executions in the United States, joining Illinois Governor George Ryan´s suspension of executions in his state, following the exoneration of 13 people previously sentenced to death.
Last month saw the release of former Arizona death row prisoner Ray Krone after DNA evidence proved conclusively that he was innocent of all charges in a 1991 murder in Phoenix.
Krone has returned to his native Pennsylvania and is calling for major overhauls in the administration of the death penalty.