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Eye on Annapolis: Death penalty and gun votes coming Thursday night, no matter how late

The chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee said the panel will vote on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s death penalty repeal bill and gun control package tonight — even if they’re working until midnight.

Sen. Brian E. Frosh, D-Montgomery, said he originally suggested the committee finish its work Friday afternoon if necessary, but a majority of the panel’s members said they preferred to get the bill over with.

“We’re going to vote tonight. We’re going to finish,” Frosh said, adding that it may take five or six hours just to get through the 13 bills scheduled for hearings. Voting will come after.

While the death penalty repeal would appear to have the votes necessary to clear the committee, the gun control package — which includes a ban on assault weapons and a controversial measure that would require new handgun purchasers to acquire a license — will be more hotly debated. Frosh said “18 or 19” amendments to the gun bill are expected to be proposed.

For more on the General Assembly, visit the Eye on Annapolis blog.