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Md. House committee OKs death penalty repeal

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The Maryland House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to repeal the state's death penalty on Friday, sending the legislation to the House floor where final passage could come next week.

The committee passed the bill by a 14-8 vote. The proposal has already passed the Senate and would make Maryland the 18th state along with the District to abolish capital punishment.

Committee members rejected several amendments on Friday that would have allowed for the death penalty in certain cases, such as in murder-for-hire schemes or the killing of police or schoolchildren.

The full repeal bill was proposed by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and is co-sponsored by 67 of 141 House members, making its passage a near-certainty.

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