Maryland's Senate voted on Wednesday to repeal the state's death penalty, putting it on a path to becoming the 18th state to abolish executions.
The Senate voted 27 to 20 to repeal the law, according to a legislative spokesperson. The bill next goes to the state House of Delegates, where supporters believe they have enough votes for it to pass.
The measure would likely be signed by Governor Martin O'Malley, who opposes capital punishment.
Maryland's last execution was in 2005.
Maryland is among 33 states with a death penalty, according to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Dan Grebler)