Wednesday, March 6, 2013

O'Malley's death penalty bill marches on

MD Gov. Martin O'Malley (photo: Jay Baker)

Yet another good for a Democratic primary; bad for a presidential general election story for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The Maryland State Senate passed Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed death penalty repeal on Wednesday.

After more than two hours of debate, the Senate voted 27-20 in favor of the repeal. The legislation would make Maryland the 18th state to abolish the death penalty and make the highest form of punishment life without parole.

Republican Sens. Ed Reilly, R-Crofton, and Sen. Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, joined 25 Democrats in supporting the bill. Ten Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against the bill.

The bill will next go to the state House, and the Capital Gazette reports that if it passes there, opponents will likely take a petition directly to Maryland voters.

Regardless, this is the second huge push from O'Malley against the death penalty since he became governor. The first ended in failure.

A poll this week showed that, despite O'Malley's string of victories on liberal legislation, his overwhelmingly blue constituents are fairly underwhelmed.