Wash. Post – Death penalty repeal approved by Maryland Senate

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley speaks at a rally in support of repealing the state’s death penalty in Annapolis on Jan. 15.

By , Published: March 6

The Maryland Senate voted to repeal the death penalty Wednesday after four days of emotional debate, moving the state closer to becoming the sixth in as many years to abolish executions.

The 27 to 20 vote was widely seen as a key step in ending capital punishment in Maryland, which has not executed a death-row prisoner since 2005. The legislation now goes before the House of Delegates, where a vote could come as early as next week.

The House is expected to approve the measure, handing Gov. Martin O’Malley a long-sought legislative victory at a time when he is weighing a run for national office in 2016.