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Senate set to vote on death penalty repeal

ANNAPOLIS — The Senate could vote as early as Wednesday on legislation to repeal the death penalty in Maryland.

On Tuesday, the Senate by voice vote gave preliminary approval to the legislation backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley. The Senate is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday to debate on final passage.

The vote on Senate Bill 276 came after death penalty opponents defeated amendments Tuesday morning that would have allowed capital punishment to be imposed on those who murder while serving life terms in prison, those who kill teachers or students on campus and those who hire others to kill.

Similar legislation is pending in the House of Delegates as House Bill 295.