1972: The U.S. Supreme Court invalidates death penalty statutes across the country

1976: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the death penalty is legal.

1978: The General Assembly reinstates death penalty laws in Maryland.

1987: The General Assembly adds life without the possibility of parole to the books as a sentencing option.

1994: The General Assembly authorizes injection as the state's method of execution.

May 17, 1994, at 1:10 a.m.: John Frederick Thanos is executed for killing three teenagers during one week in 1990.

July 2, 1997, at 12:27 a.m.: Flint Gregory Hunt is executed for gunning down a Baltimore policeman in 1985.

Nov. 16, 1998, at 10:27 p.m.: Tyrone X. Gilliam is executed for kidnapping and killing a Baltimore accountant in 1988.

May 9, 2002: Gov. Parris N. Glendening imposes a moratorium on the death penalty while a state-ordered University of Maryland study of capital punishment is conducted.

The study would conclude there are racial and geographic disparities in the application of the death penalty in the state.

Jan. 15, 2003: The execution moratorium is effectively lifted when Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is sworn in as governor.

June 17, 2004, at 9:18 p.m.: Steven Howard Oken is executed for the rape and murder of a White Marsh newlywed at the start of a crime rampage in 1987 that included the killings of two other women.

Dec. 5, 2005, at 9:18 p.m.: Wesley Eugene Baker is executed for killing a Baltimore County elementary school teacher's aide in front of her grandchildren in a 1991 robbery.

Dec. 19, 2006: The Maryland Court of Appeals rules that executions cannot continue in Maryland until the legislature approves regulations for lethal injection procedures or passes a law saying that such rules are not required.

Jan. 17, 2007: Gov. Martin O'Malley, a death penalty opponent, succeeds Ehrlich in office.

March 24, 2008: After defeating an attempt to repeal the death penalty, the General Assembly establishes a commission to study capital punishment.

May 22, 2008: O'Malley orders the drafting of new lethal injection procedures.

Nov. 12, 2008: Maryland's death penalty study commission votes to recommend repealing capital punishment.