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Death penalty repeal: Will any senators change their minds?

Julie Bykowicz, Laura Smitherman and Gadi Dechter have polled the Senate and found a slim majority opposed to Gov. O'Malley's plan to abolish the death penalty. As it stands, O'Malley would need to get all four undecided votes and flip one of the people currently in the anti-repeal camp. Here's the list, as it stands:

Question: Would you be inclined to vote in favor of a full repeal of the death penalty?

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YES (19)

Joan Carter Conway, Baltimore City (D)

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Ulysses Currie, Prince George's (D)

James "Ed" DeGrange Sr., Anne Arundel (D)

Nathaniel Exum, Prince George's (D)

Jennie M. Forehand, Montgomery County (D)

Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery (D)

Lisa A. Gladden, Baltimore City (D)

David C. Harrington, Prince George's (D)

Verna L. Jones, Baltimore City (D)

Delores G. Kelley, Baltimore County (D)

Nancy J. King, Montgomery (D)

Mike Lenett, Montgomery (D)

Richard Madaleno, Montgomery (D)

Nathaniel J. McFadden, Baltimore City (D)

C. Anthony Muse, Prince George's (D)

Douglas J.J. Peters, Prince George's (D)

Paul G. Pinsky, Prince George's (D)

Catherine E. Pugh, Baltimore City (D)

Jamie Raskin, Montgomery (D)

NO (24)

David R. Brinkley, Frederick and Carroll (R)

James Brochin, Baltimore County (D)

Richard F. Colburn, Eastern Shore (R)

George W. Della Jr., Baltimore City (D)

Roy P. Dyson, Southern Maryland (D)

George C. Edwards, Western Maryland (R)

Rob Garagiola, Montgomery (D)

Barry Glassman, Harford (R)

Janet Greenip, Anne Arundel (R)

Larry E. Haines, Carroll and Baltimore counties (R)

Andy Harris, Baltimore and Harford counties (R)

Nancy Jacobs, Harford and Cecil (R)

Edward J. Kasemeyer, Howard and Baltimore counties (D)

Allan H. Kittleman, Howard and Carroll (R)

Katherine A. Klausmeier, Baltimore County (D)

Thomas "Mac" Middleton, Charles (D)

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Calvert and Prince George's (D)

Alex X. Mooney, Frederick and Washington (R)

Donald F. Munson, Washington (R)

E.J. Pipkin, Eastern Shore (R)

James N. Robey, Howard (D)

J. Lowell Stoltzfus, Eastern Shore (R)

Norman R. Stone Jr., Baltimore County (D)

Bobby A. Zirkin, Baltimore County (D)

DECLINED TO ANSWER (4)

John C. Astle, Anne Arundel (D)

Rona E. Kramer, Montgomery (D)

Jim Rosapepe, Prince George's and Anne Arundel (D)

Bryan W. Simonaire, Anne Arundel (R)

Simonaire is a big question mark, since he could be the vote that decides whether the bill gets out of the Judicial Proceedings Committee. Still, he said in the paper this morning that his baseline is that he's pro-death penalty but is worried about whether innocent people could be executed. That sounds like someone who's leaning against the repeal but is trying to keep an open mind, not the other way around.

Are there any surprises in the "no" camp? No major ones, anyway. Rob Garagiola is the only MoCo Democrat publicly on the anti-repeal side, but he's probably also among the most conservative members of that delegation. George Della is someone I could see going either way on the issue, but most of the other Dems on the "no" list seem like solid votes. All the Baltimore County senators, for example, seem unlikely to change their minds. After all, they come from a county that happily elected and re-elected Sandy O'Connor as state's attorney, and she put more people on death row than anybody in modern Maryland legal history.

Shoot, if Jim Rosapepe isn't in the repeal camp, O'Malley's facing an uphill climb.

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