Key death penalty dates

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

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

1978: General Assembly reinstates death penalty laws in Maryland.

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

1994: 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 a weeklong crime spree 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 spree 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: 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.

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

[Jennifer McMenamin]