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Maryland is about to make history.

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On Friday the Maryland House of Delegates voted 85 to 56 to agree to replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without parole.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the bill into law, which would make Maryland the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.

“Today the Maryland General Assembly voted to remove Maryland from the ranks of other places in this world – Iraq, Iran, Syria, and others – who do still have public executions,” O’Malley said.

Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown praised lawmakers for their deliberate yet passionate debate before voting to repeal capital punishment.

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“It was principled and reasoned,” said Brown. “Today is a great day for Maryland… we’re going to be strong on justice, while also protecting innocents.”

The bill was O’Malley’s second attempt to overturn capital punishment since 2009.

SOURCE: Reuters