Maryland became the sixth state in as many years to abolish capital punishment when Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation Thursday repealing the death penalty.
The new law could face a challenge at the ballot box next year, however. A group that has led successful petition drives in the past said it would announce Friday whether it will move forward with an expected bid to put the issue to voters in November 2014.
O’Malley (D) also signed bills to combat cyberbullying, allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses, expand early voting, reform campaign-finance laws and put in place the federal health-care law in Maryland.
And he put his signature on a measure to legalize medical marijuana well into the ceremony, which lasted about two hours. The event at the State House in Annapolis attracted several high-profile visitors, including NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, who supported the repeal of the death penalty, and Ray Rice, a Baltimore Ravens running back who campaigned for the anti-cyberbullying bill.