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According to a Daily Record article on November 12, 2008, the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment has voted to recommend abolishing the death penalty. Venable senior partner Ben Civiletti is Chairman of the commission and was quoted in the article.

"I don't think [the death penalty] does any good and it costs a lot of money and it risks the innocent [being executed]," Civiletti said.

When the commission was formed in July and Civiletti was appointed chair, he expressed an open mind on capital punishment. "I come in with views, but they are not fixed views," he said at the time.

According to the article, the commission - which included state legislators, a former Maryland judge, a state's attorney and public defender, members of law enforcement, clergy, surviving family members of murder victims and former death row inmate Kirk N. Bloodsworth - has held a series of public hearings on the costs and concerns arising out of the death penalty.