Md. Senate Approves Death Penalty Repeal Bill 27-20

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Death penalty opponents are celebrating a victory.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on a historic vote in the Maryland Senate.

Twenty-eight years ago Maryland murder suspect Kurt Bloodsworth sat in a courtroom waiting to be convicted and sentenced to death.

“Twenty-eight years ago today and now I sit in the General Assembly in the Senate Chamber and watch it go down,” he said. “I helped kill the thing that almost killed me.”

Bloodsworth, released from death row by DNA evidence, has championed the death penalty repeal for nearly a decade. Wednesday, in a 27-20 vote, the Maryland Senate approved Governor O’Malley’s bill to end capital punishment in the state.

“This is a good day for all of us, all my brothers and sisters,” said Bloodsworth.

“The death penalty is expensive and it does not work and for that reason alone I believe we should stop doing it,” said O’Malley.

O’Malley, who sponsored the repeal, said in a statement:

“We are pleased that the Senate has voted to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. We remain hopeful that we will see a similar outcome in the House.”

“I think it’s going to happen, I really do,” said Bloodsworth.

Senate President Mike Miller, who supports the death penalty and voted against the repeal, also expects it to pass the House.

“I think this is going to be, no pun intended, the death knell for the death penalty in Maryland.” Miller said.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the House will actually start to work on the bill.

Death penalty supporters say capital punishment should be preserved in the state for the worst of the worst offenders.

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