The Maryland Senate voted Wednesday to make Maryland the 18th state to abolish the death penalty, putting Gov. Martin O'Malley one step closer to a significant legislative victory.
The 27-20 vote sent the bill to the House of Delegates, where repeal supporters believe they have enough backing to send the legislation to the governor.
Two Republicans — Sens. Edward R. Reilly of Anne Arundel County and Allan H. Kittleman of Howard County — joined 25 Democrats in supporting repeal. Ten Democrats and 10 Republicans opposed the legislation.