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Maryland death penalty up for debate again

Friday - 1/4/2013, 4:11am  ET

WASHINGTON - Death penalty opponents may get the chance to debate the issue in Maryland when lawmakers get back to work in Annapolis next week.

If Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley can garner support from enough senators for a repeal of the death penalty, Senate President Mike Miller says he'll make sure the measure gets a chance in the Senate.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Miller - who supports the death penalty in some cases, like mass murder - has said that if O'Malley has the votes to consider a repeal, he will find a way to move it forward.

Last month, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous met with O'Malley to ask his support for repeal.

Four years ago, O'Malley made barring the death penalty a priority. His initiative failed, but he did get a compromise bill that limited its use.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)