Maryland Death Penalty Repeal Referendum (2014)

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The Death Penalty Repeal Referendum was a veto referendum in Maryland that failed to qualify for the general election ballot on November 4, 2014. The referendum was filed in response to the Maryland legislature's repealing of the death penalty as a form of punishment.[1]


Editor's note: This section contains information on those in support of placing the referendum on the ballot.

Supporters say that the death penalty is necessary for enforcing society's moral code. The website is sponsoring the referendum's petition drive.



  • At a press conference announcing the campaign's launch, State's Attorney Shellenberger said, "We need to retain Maryland’s death penalty for those prosecutors who want to seek it in the appropriate case. Today, we are launching repeal the repeal. We want people, the people of the state of Maryland, to decide whether Maryland should have the death penalty."[2]

Tactics and strategies

  • During an annual marathon in Baltimore, supporters staged a news conference and held up signs at the finish line saying: "What if?" The effort was designed to invite comparison to the 2013 terrorist bombing of a marathon in Boston.[3]



  • NAACP[2]
  • Maryland Catholic Conference

Path to the ballot

See also: Maryland signature requirements

For a referendum on a statewide law: signatures must equal 3% of votes cast for governor in the most recent election, and one-third must be submitted within 40 days of the legislation being signed into law.

Therefore, in order to qualify for the 2014 ballot supporters were required to collect a minimum of 55,736 valid signatures and submit them by June 30.

The first round of signatures, totaling 18,579 names, was required by May 31, but it was reported that supporters had only gathered around 15,000. The shortcoming resulted in the referendum failing to make the ballot.[4]

See also

External links