"O’Malley discusses some main points of session, expresses hope for death penalty repeal," is the AP report, via the Washington Post.
Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tuesday the state Senate is within two votes of approving a ban on capital punishment in Maryland, and the governor underscored that job creation and transportation funding concerns will be top priorities in the legislative session.
By most counts, O’Malley said, 22 of the 24 senators needed to approve a death penalty ban have expressed a willingness to support a ban in the session that begins Wednesday.
“And I think it’s very possible that there are two more senators that would vote to repeal,” O’Malley added, speaking to reporters after an annual lunch with Maryland Democrats.
The Democratic governor pushed to repeal the death penalty in 2009. Full repeal stalled in the Senate, which opted to restrict capital punishment to murder cases with biological evidence such as DNA, videotaped evidence of a murder or a videotaped confession.
Sen. Brian Frosh, who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, said in an interview this week that repeal is within one vote on the committee and a vote or two in the full Senate.
“It’s close,” said Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat who supports repeal. He added that he believes this is a good year to push for it.
Sen. James Brochin, a Baltimore County Democrat who is on the Judicial Proceedings Committee and supports capital punishment, said this week he would not be changing his position.
“I don’t see any reason to repeal the death penalty,” Brochin said in an interview Monday.
The governor declined to say at this point whether he will make repeal a key part of his legislative agenda. Still, O’Malley clearly would like to see capital punishment banned. There hasn’t been execution in Maryland during O’Malley’s tenure, which began in 2007.
“I’m confident that eventually it will be repealed,” O’Malley said. “I’d like to see it repealed sooner rather than later, and if I could help bring that about that would certainly be a positive thing.”
The Gaithersburg Gazette reports, "O’Malley optimistic on death penalty support." It's by Daniel Leaderman.
The vote needed in the Maryland Senate for repealing the death penalty might be within reach, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said Tuesday.
O’Malley told reporters that of the 24 Senate votes needed for repeal, 22 were likely in place.
“I think it’s very possible that there are two more senators that would vote for repeal,” O’Malley told reporters after a Democratic Party luncheon in Annapolis.
The governor favors repealing the law, but hasn’t yet said whether he will include a bill to do so in his 2013 legislative package, which he said he plans to unveil next week.
“I believe very firmly that the death penalty is a waste of money, and it’s ineffective,” O’Malley said. “You shouldn’t do things that are expensive and don’t work.”
Earlier coverage from Maryland begins at the link.