Death Penalty

Maryland Considers Ending Capital Punishment

Part of talks as new legislative session begins

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Banning assault weapons, repealing capital punishment and laying the groundwork to develop offshore wind received strong endorsements by Maryland's top state leaders, who were confident they would pass this year as lawmakers convened Wednesday for the first day of the legislative session.

Lawmakers also want to address long-running shortfalls in transportation funding. The challenge on how to find the money will likely be tough work well into the session.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Calvert County Democrat who supports capital punishment, predicted a repeal would pass in the Senate, perhaps by as many as five votes. Miller also said he believed the measure would clear the General Assembly and be sent to the ballot for voters to decide in the next election.