Opinion – Wash. Post: The much-needed demise of Maryland’s death penalty

By , Published: March 25

MARYLAND IS SET to become the 18th state to scrap the death penalty, the sixth since 2007 and the first south of the Mason-Dixon line. The repeal, having now passed both houses of the General Assembly, is a major achievement for Gov. Martin O’Malley, who pushed hard for it, and for his fellow Democrats, who dominate the state ­legislature.The measure replaces capital punishment with a life sentence without the possibility of parole; the governor is expected to sign the legislation in the coming weeks. Maryland voters are likely to have the last word if, as expected, death-penalty supporters collect enough signatures to petition the new law to referendum, probably in 2014.