Maryland's Legislature Repeals the Death Penalty

On March 15, the Maryland House of Delegates passed (82-56) a bill to abolish the death penalty for future crimes. The same bill passed the Maryland Senate on March 6. Governor Martin O’Malley has pledged to sign the bill, which will make Maryland the 18th state to abolish the death penalty, and the sixth to do so in the last six years. O’Malley said, “I’ve felt compelled to do everything I could to change our law, repeal the death penalty, so that we could focus on doing the things that actually work to reduce violent crime.” Maryland currently has five people on death row, but they will not be affected by the legislation. Prior to 2007, no legislature had abolished the death penalty since the 1960s. The other 5 states to recently abolish the death penalty are New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois and Connecticut.

(DPIC posted, March 15, 2013; J. Wagner, “Md. General Assembly Repeals Death Penalty,” Wash. Post, Mar. 15, 2013). See DPIC’s Press Release. See Recent Legislative Activity and Maryland. A timeline of Maryland’s death penalty and more information on recent national trends is available at Death Penalty at a Glance. Photo by @bpsears.