RECENT LEGISLATION: Maryland Senate Votes to Repeal Death Penalty

On March 6, the Maryland Senate passed SB 276 by a vote of 27-20. The bill replaces the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole for future offenses. The bill appears likely to pass the House of Delegates, and Governor Martin O’Malley has pledged to sign it. The bill would not affect the inmates currently on death row. If passed by the House and signed into law, Maryland would become the sixth state in six years, and the 18th overall to abandon capital punishment. Maryland has five people on death row and has carried out five executions since reinstating the death penalty in 1978. There have been no executions since 2005. Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, and New Jersey are the other states that have ended the imposition of death sentences since 2007.

(DPIC posted, March 6, 2013; read DPIC’s Press Release). See Recent Legislative Activity and Maryland.