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Among the major issues that confront the Maryland General Assembly when it convenes on Wednesday, January 14 is a legislative proposal to repeal the death penalty. The proposal comes after a November 2008 Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment report calling for the abolition of the death penalty. The commission is chaired by Venable Senior Partner and former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti.

The commission's report found that death sentences are often tied to the race of the defendant and victim or the location where the murder occurred. The panel, which voted 13-9 in favor of capital punishment abolition, also faulted the cost of capital punishment and found it an ineffective deterrent to homicide.

According to the Daily Record article, Sen. Lisa Gladden will introduce a bill calling for capital punishment's repeal. Gladden was the sponsor of a similar 2008 bill that was defeated.