The death of a young woman in BALTIMORE, Maryland, has brought back the death penalty.
In 2016, a Maryland judge handed down the death sentence to a man who had killed her and injured her three children.
His lawyers appealed and were granted a stay on execution, but his death sentence was set to take effect on June 25, 2017.
In 2017, a federal appeals court reversed the Maryland ruling, saying the case should be sent back to the state for a new trial.
The U.S. Supreme Court had overturned the Maryland sentence in January, but Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) refused to lift the stay on the execution, and it was back to court for another appeal.
The court also ruled that the state must carry out the autopsy, which is necessary to determine the cause of death.
A lawyer for Hogan has said that the governor will not lift the order, despite the death of the woman.
Maryland’s death penalty statute was enacted in 1976 and is a primary contributor to the death rate in the U.K., the U of Ireland and the U,S.
The statute requires that the death be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and that the execution is a “cruel and unusual punishment” under U.N. standards.
It also requires that any “grave” punishment be carried out.
“It is clear that the State cannot be trusted to execute its own laws and standards in the manner in which they are implemented,” the judges’ opinion stated.
A spokesperson for Hogan, speaking on behalf of the governor, declined to comment on the appeals court’s ruling.
The Maryland state law has been criticized by human rights groups for failing to provide the legal support needed to carry out lethal injection, especially for women and people of color.
“There are so many problems with the law that are completely unaddressed by the court’s opinion,” said Laura Murphy, the executive director of the Maryland chapter of Amnesty International.
“We don’t have the tools to provide meaningful oversight and a meaningful court process in the death chamber.”
The state law states that an autopsy must be performed by a licensed physician and the death must be “reasonably certain” that the inmate’s death was caused by a combination of factors.
“The executioner is required to provide sufficient evidence to support a finding that the person died from a disease or injury or an act of God, and that there is no other viable alternative to lethal injection,” the law states.
A Maryland corrections department spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.