Death Penalty

MD Governor Backs Repeal of Death Penalty

No executions in the state since 2005

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to announce Tuesday that he will put the full weight of his office behind repealing the death penalty, a move that could tip the balance on an issue that has sharply divided the legislature for years.

The governor has long opposed capital punishment, arguing that it is costly and an ineffective deterrent, but he has only once before sponsored a repeal bill, which fell short in 2009. With the arrival of several new lawmakers since then, and a sense of renewed momentum, O'Malley (D) is set to try again, according to several aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to more freely discuss the planned announcement.