The Maryland General Assembly approved a ban of the death penalty on Friday, CNN reported.
The bill, which passed in an 82-56 voted, now goes to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) for approval. According to WUSA-TV, he is expected to sign the bill into effect and make Maryland the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.
O’Malley will also have the option of commuting the sentences of the state’s five inmates currently on death row to life in prison.
Update 4:15 EST: The American Civil Liberties Union praised the vote in a statement Friday afternoon.
“Capital punishment laws are incapable of providing a way to choose who should be executed that spares the innocent that is not fundamentally biased against people of color and the poor, and that does not cost more than imprisonment,” said Denny LeBoeuf, director of the organization’s Capital Punishment Project.
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