Gov. Martin O'Malley, a longtime advocate for repealing the death penalty, will sign the bill into law in the next few weeks. Maryland becomes the eighteenth state to repeal the death penalty. Six states have repealed the death penalty since 2007.
Opponents of the controversial repeal were hoping for a referendum drive on the issue. Rep. Neal Parrott, Chairman of MDPetitions.com, spearheaded petitions against same-sex marriage, the DREAM Act, and congressional redistricting in 2012, landing all three on the ballot. All three challenges lost on Election Day.
Parrott has no plans to challenge the repeal with a referendum.
The death penalty has been used sparingly across the United States, with the exception of Texas, over the past decade. Maryland has not executed anyone since 2005. The state executed five men between 1977 and 2013.
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