Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley wants 2013 to be the year his state bans the death penalty once and for all, and he's not wasting any time in getting the ball rolling. The Democrat plans to introduce a bill outlining such a ban this week. If his bid is successful, Maryland will become the 18th state to do away with capital punishment, reports the Wall Street Journal. His quest may not be an easy one, though. A close vote is expected in the state Senate, where 24 of 47 senators will have to vote in favor of the ban before the House can consider it.
A rep for the governor says he's confident that'll happen, but he does face opposition, and his prior efforts have stalled. Republican Delegate Neil Parrott said O'Malley's "priorities are all messed up. By watering down punishments for violent crime, he's encouraging crime to happen in Maryland rather than in Virginia or other states." O'Malley, however, says the death penalty doesn't deter violent crime, and that prosecuting a capital case simply costs too much. No one has been executed in Maryland since 2004; five inmates sit on death row.