Victim’s Mother: Abolish Maryland’s Death Penalty


Maryland legislators considering the future of capital punishment have been meeting with an unlikely lobbyist for abolition: the mother of a murder victim. Vickie Schieber, who lost a daughter to rape and murder, has spent a decade visiting Annapolis lawmakers to argue against the death penalty.  This year, the political tide may be turning in her favor; an abolition bill is being pushed by Gov. Martin O’Malley and it has received new support in a state Senate that has a history of blocking similar legislation.

Schieber’s daughter was killed in Philadelphia just before a planned trip home to Maryland for summer vacation. Her killer was caught and convicted, but Schieber and her husband argued for life imprisonment rather than death.  “Vengeance can destroy you,” she told The Washington Post. “It doesn’t hurt my daughter’s killer at all.”

Shieber has been meeting with legislators individually, and is scheduled to testify before two committees considering O’Malley’s bill.  Prospects are good, but time is short — Maryland’s legislator meets for only 90 days.  “I’m both hopeful and scared,” she said.

More details at http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/murder-victims-mother-continues-her-push-for-repeal-of-marylands-death-penalty/2013/02/13/b990b57e-75c8-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html


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