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Opponents of Md. death penalty repeal fall short

FREDERICK — An effort to undo Maryland’s recent repeal of the death penalty has fallen short.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and other advocates had been seeking a ballot question next year that would ask voters to reinstate capital punishment.

But he said in an interview Friday that they’ve fallen thousands of signatures short in their bid for a voter referendum.

Shellenberger says he’s resigned to the fact that Maryland no longer has the death penalty, which lawmakers repealed this year. He says he believes it’s an appropriate penalty for people he calls the “worst of the worst.”

Shellenberger says he thinks there’s no natural constituency for death penalty supporters to reach out to, and that many citizens don’t feel that the death penalty has been used effectively in the state.