Maryland may become the sixth state to abolish executions after its Senate voted on Wednesday to repeal the death penalty.
A legislative spokesperson said the vote to repeal the law passed 27 to 20.
The bill will go to the state’s House of Delegates where supporters of the bill believe it will pass.
The bill will more than likely be signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley who not only opposes capital punishment but joined NAACP leaders and other civil rights leaders in a press conference to end the death penalty in Maryland this earlier this year.
“If you look over the last 30 or 40 years, the death penalty was on the books, and yet Baltimore still became one of the most violent and addicted cities in America,” said O’Malley earlier in the year.
O’Malley announced that the repeal of capital punishment was a top priority of his administration because it was ineffective.
“Blacks in Maryland are two and a half times more likely to receive the death penalty than whites,” said Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown at the press conference held at Lawyer’s Mall located outside the Maryland State House.
Statistics shows African Americans represent 13 percent of the U.S population, 37 percent of the prisoners and 41 percent of death row inmates.
The last execution in Maryland was in 2005.