ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is nearing a vote on a measure that would repeal the state's death penalty.
The committee could vote as soon as Thursday.
Last week, Gov. Martin O'Malley urged lawmakers in both the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee to ban capital punishment, calling the practice costly and a poor deterrent of violent crime.
The Democrat governor has said that he believes the General Assembly has the will to ban capital punishment this session.
O'Malley's last effort stalled in 2009.
Maryland has five men on death row.
Maryland's death penalty has been on hold since a 2006 court ruling found the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee. Executions can't resume until the protocols are approved.