The pragmatic case that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley made in getting his state to join the growing number repealing the death penalty should also appeal to Gov. Corbett and his Republican colleagues in Harrisburg.
"Capital punishment is expensive, and the overwhelming evidence tells us that it does not work as a deterrent," O'Malley said after the Maryland General Assembly's vote last week to repeal capital punishment. It became the sixth state in recent years to scrap executions, following the progressive example of New Jersey by instead providing life sentences without the possibility of parole in capital cases.
The move by Maryland offers Pennsylvania leaders yet one more reason to, at the very least, enact a moratorium on executions, as recommended by a bipartisan legislative task force in September. The group's two ranking members - State Sens. Daylin Leach, a Democrat, and Stewart Greenleaf, a Republican, both from Montgomery County - said it was "particularly prudent" to delay any death sentences while the panel finishes its study.