ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland is poised to become the 18th state in the nation to abolish the death penalty.
A death penalty repeal bill has already passed the state Senate and is expected to pass the House of Delegates on Friday.
Supporters of the repeal argue that capital punishment is costly, error-prone, racially biased and a poor deterrent of crime. Opponents say it's a necessary tool to punish lawbreakers who commit the most egregious crimes.
Maryland has five men on death row. The state's last execution took place in 2005, during the administration of Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich.
The state's death penalty has been on hold since a 2006 court ruling that the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee.