Gov. Martin O'Malley to sign death penalty repeal next week
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to sign a measure repealing capital punishment in Maryland into law.
Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for O'Malley, confirmed on Thursday that O'Malley plans to sign the bill at a bill-signing ceremony on May 2.
Maryland will become the 18th state to ban the death penalty. Connecticut did so last year. Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York also have abolished it in recent years.
Maryland has five men on death row. The measure would not apply to them retroactively. But the legislation makes clear the governor can commute their sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole. O'Malley has said he will consider them on a case-by-case basis.
The state's last execution took place in 2005, during Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich's administration.