Maryland is Close to Repeal!

And another update: Friday, March 8: More good news! The Maryland House Judiciary Committee voted 14-8 to pass repeal this afternoon. Now the bill will go to the House floor next week. If you know Maryland residents, please have them contact their representatives and tell them to vote YES with no amendments!

Another update: Wednesday, March 6 10:55 a.m. The Maryland Senate just voted for repeal 27-20! Now the bill goes to the House. Stay tuned!

Update Tuesday, March 5: The Maryland Senate debated the death penalty repeal bill on Monday evening and this morning and many unfriendly amendments were soundly defeated. The Senate will take a final vote in its third and final reading, now set for 9am EST tomorrow (March 6). Then the House of Delegates takes up the bill starting with a vote in the House Judiciary Committee.

After debating about the death penalty for three and a half hours this morning, the Maryland Senate took a key test vote on an amendment proposed by Senator Richard F. Colburn (R-Dorchester) that would retain the death penalty for certain cases with aggravated factors. The amendment failed on a vote of 27 to 19 and the Senate adjourned. They are scheduled to resume debate on Governor Martin O’Malley’s death penalty repeal bill on Monday at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

Death penalty repeal advocates say they are confident that they have enough votes to defeat any other amendments that may be proposed on Monday and feel that they will win in the final Senate vote which they hope will happen by next Tuesday. The bill needs 24 votes to pass and 26 senators have already said publicly that they intend to vote for it. Senator Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard) joined them in voting against Colburn’s amendment today, though he said he continues to wrestle with how to vote on the repeal bill.

Two Senators in particular fought hard for repeal in Maryland today – Jamie Raskin and Lisa Gladden. You can thank them for their leadership and encourage them to continue to stand strong!

(Photo of MD Senate Chamber courtesy of

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