(Ed: One of my 'news alerts' returned this story. I present it for thought and maybe a discussion starter.)
[...] Maryland has executed five convicted murderers since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. In 2005, the state recorded 522 murders. With a population of 5.6 million, that meant a homicide rate of 9.9 per 100,000 people.
Virginia has executed 98 convicted murderers since 1976. In 2005, it recorded 461 homicides in a population of 7.6 million, 6.1 per 100,000 -- nearly 40 percent lower than Maryland's.
The District of Columbia has no death penalty. Its last execution occurred in 1957. In 2005, the District endured 195 murders, 35.4 per 100,000, a rate more than five times higher than Virginia's. Read more