Maryland Abolishes the Death Penalty

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On March 15, 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 276, abolishing capital punishment in the state. (You also can read the accompanying fiscal and policy note.) The bill, which the governor signed on May 2, 2013, removes all references to capital punishment from Maryland’s code. It also gives the governor the authority to commute the sentences of the state’s remaining five death row inmates to life without the possibility of parole. With this action, Maryland joins 17 other states that do not have capital punishment.  

Since 2007, five states—Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico—abolished the death penalty through legislative action, and a 2007 New York Court of Appeals case declared their law unconstitutional.