Databases for death penalty debate
When Gov. Martin O’Malley said he would do “everything in my power” to overturn the death penalty in Maryland this year, that apparently included tapping into large databases he has amassed as a politician and as governor.
O’Malley distributed mass emails today and yesterday, both urging recipients to contact their state senators and urge them to vote to end capital punishment.
A key Senate vote could come as soon as tomorrow. “It looks like the vote will be close,” O’Malley said in Sunday email, which was distributed by his campaign.
Perhaps things changes a little overnight. Says today’s email, which was sent directly from the governor’s office: “The vote tomorrow is expected to be very, very close, and results may very well hinge on last-minute decisions by just a handful of senators.
O’Malley’s campaign database includes tens of thousands of names. His official one is even larger. The potential impact of the governor’s outreach is significant. Our sources tell us that a third electronic mailing is on the way, from the O’Malley-controlled state Democratic Party.
The campaign email directs supporters to a link on the campaign Web site, which allows users to identify their own senator and immediately send a pre-written email. It also provides anti-death penalty talking points for those who want to customize the message. The official email steers Marylanders to the website of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions.
It’s worth noting that the economic argument against the death penalty is becoming more prominent, aided by a front-page article in the New York Times last week that featured the Maryland debate.
A commission studying the death penalty “found that the cost to taxpayers of pursuing a capital punishment conviction was three times as much as the cost of pursuing a non-death penalty homicide conviction,” O’Malley said in both emails
“During these times of economic crisis, those are funds we could be investing in crime prevention or assisting victims’ families,” he said.
We’ll try to find out which senators get the most emails, and what they think of them, based on O’Malley’s efforts.
Click below to see the full email from the governor.