If Gov. Martin O'Malley is right, Maryland is only two votes short of repealing the death penalty within the state. O'Malley made the statement following a Democratic luncheon Tuesday, according to WJLA.
Maryland already has one of the strictest sets of requirements to meet before considering the death penalty. The death penalty may only be considered when hard evidence is introduced into the case. This includes DNA, video of the crime, or a videotaped confession.
The tighter rules were the result of a 2009 push to fully repeal the death penalty. Now the effort is being renewed as O'Malley is mentioned for a potential 2016 White House bid.
Some believe the issue will ultimately be decided by voters on the 2014 ballot. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., in a radio interview Wednesday morning, said he expects the measure to pass the legislature and be signed by O'Malley. He said opponents would push for a referendum measure, similar to efforts made during the 2012 legislative term.
There are some who believe reforming the death penalty would have more impact than repealing it. Other opponents to the measure believe repealing the death penalty would give criminals less incentive to comply with the law.
The 2013 legislative session began Wednesday morning.
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