Five men in the state still sit on death row and could potentially be executed, but as of October 1, no one else will be sentenced to death in Maryland.
Leading up to last year’s General Assembly, legislation to end capital punishment hadn’t been expected to even reach the floor for a full vote. But in a nod to growing public sentiment, Senate President Mike Miller—not a supporter of repealing capital punishment—changed judiciary committee assignments and hope for the measure suddenly appeared.
Organizations like Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and the NAACP threw their weight behind the legislation, sponsored and ultimately signed into law by Gov. Martin O’Malley.
Exonerated former death row inmate Kirk Bloodsworth, who fought to end capital punishment ever since his incarceration nearly 30 years ago, leapt and threw his hands into the air in the State House balcony as the votes were cast.