HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s four remaining death-row inmates would become eligible for transfer to medium-security prisons after Gov. Martin O’Malley signs executive orders commuting their sentences to life without parole.

They would lose their guarantee of single-bed cells, however. State prison agency spokesman Gerard Shields says some inmates prefer to have no cellmate.

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All four men are housed at the maximum-security North Branch Correctional Institution near Cumberland.

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Shields says that except for the requirements that they be kept in maximum security and housed in single cells, Maryland death-row inmates have no more restrictions than the prison’s other approximately 1,300 inmates.

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The Democratic governor said Wednesday he will commute their sentences before he leaves office Jan. 21. The administration formally began the process Monday by publishing a notice in The Daily Record newspaper.