Last year, the state of Maryland took a huge step towards better supporting murder victims’ families by abolishing the death penalty.
Now, the state wants to make sure that programs for those families have the support they need.
Last month, Governor Martin O’Malley set aside funding in the state budget specifically to assist murder victims’ family members. Maryland has been a leader in recognizing the needs of crime survivors, but family members of murder victims have too often been left behind. Programs that do exist to help this community have unfortunately been under-funded and under-staffed.
Soon, the legislature in Maryland will consider the “Programs for Survivors of Homicide” bill, which would ensure that the governor’s budget allocation will go to people who have lost a family member to murder. The bill also makes certain that victims’ families will be included in the development of support programs for years to come.
Maryland is setting a strong example for the rest of the country by devoting precious resources to programs that actually help victims, rather than the death penalty.