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O'Malley Voices Support of Bill to End Death Penalty

Though Hurdles Loom, Sponsor Expresses Hope

By Ovetta Wiggins and John Wagner

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 26, 2007; Page B02

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said yesterday that he plans to work for the repeal of Maryland's death penalty this legislative session. But he and some lawmakers predict that the measure has tough hurdles to clear before it gets to his desk.

"I've had a pretty consistent position on this," O'Malley told reporters at the State House. "Now that it's salient, I'm certainly not going to try to duck or hide. I would like to see us repeal the death penalty."

O'Malley's comments came in response to an announcement by two lawmakers that they would introduce legislation to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sanction of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The bills were filed yesterday.