Gov. Martin O’Malley is preparing to move forward with regulations to allow executions to resume in Maryland now that his effort to repeal the death penalty appears to have failed, a spokesman said yesterday.
The Senate abruptly ended debate on O’Malley’s proposal yesterday morning, instead embracing a bill that would tighten evidence standards in death penalty cases. That bill is expected to pass the Senate today by a wide margin and head to the House of Delegates for consideration.
Maryland has had a de facto moratorium on capital punishment since December 2006, the month before O’Malley (D) took office, after the state’s highest court ruled that lethal injection procedures had not been properly adopted.
O’Malley, a longtime capital punishment opponent, has declined to issue regulations since then, saying the legislature deserved a chance to permanently repeal the death penalty. Such bills have been considered during each of the past three years.