The governor of the state of Maryland, Martin O'Malley, has signed legislation to repeal the death penalty.

"This session, Maryland became the 18th state to repeal the death penalty, preserving the option of life without parole for the most serious offenders. With the legislation signed today, Maryland has effectively eliminated a policy that is proven not to work. Evidence shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it cannot be administered without racial bias, and it costs three times as much as life in prison without parole. Furthermore, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death. Working together with law enforcement partners, Maryland has driven down violent crime and homicides to three decade lows. The Administration will continue to move forward with the things that work to save lives – more effective policing, better technology, information sharing and coordination, and smarter strategies to reduce crime," the governor's office says in a press release.

In a statement, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown says, “We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to hold violent criminals accountable, but the facts prove that the death penalty is racially biased, demonstrably unreliable, and an ineffective deterrent to crime. ... In Maryland, justice will be appropriately severe for horrible crimes while we still remain committed to fairness and equality within our criminal justice system.”

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