House committee approves death penalty repeal

Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty is one step closer to passage after a House committee voted Friday to approve it.

The bill — already passed by the Senate — goes now to the full House of Delegates.

The House Judiciary Committee's 14-8 vote to approve the bill came after Republicans offered more than a half-dozen amendments seeking to allow the death penalty for some crimes, including mass murder. One after another, they were voted down by the same margin as on the bill itself.

The vote in the House committee fell almost entirely along party lines, with Democratic Del. Kevin Kelly of Allegany County joining seven Republicans in voting no.

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