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Md. Law Repealing Death Penalty Goes Into Effect

Those found guilty of first-degree murder will now face a life sentence or life without the possibility of parole.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's law repealing the death penalty went into effect Tuesday.

Maryland is now the 18th state to end capital punishment.

Those found guilty of first-degree murder will now face a life sentence or life without the possibility of parole.

"I do believe it was political because when we look at the daily occurrence of who gets a death sentence and how many people have been put to death since they have been going with these cases, there hasn't been anybody that has been put to death," said Del. Kelly Schulz, (R) - Frederick County.

Many legislators who voted for the law said they did so for moral reasons, but the majority of Western Maryland lawmakers voted against it and say it should still be in place as a tool for prosecutors to use.

"When you talk to the state's attorneys and you talk to them about moving forward and how they're able to affect change through the legal system, they were adamantly opposed to this because it takes away their options," Schulz said. 

Another major Maryland laws going into effect today include one creating stiffer penalties for preventing or interfering with the report of suspected child abuse. Delegate Michael Hough of Frederick and Washington Counties is the law's sponsor.

Slayer's Law also went into effect, which makes it illegal for someone convicted of first-degree murder to profit off the estate of his or her victim. This law is named after Frederick resident Ann Sue Metz, who was murdered by her husband. Delegate Kelly Schulz of Frederick County sponsored the law.
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