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Maryland governor signs death penalty repeal

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By Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) — Maryland’s governor signed a bill Thursday repealing the death penalty.

The legislation goes into effect October 1.

In those cases in which the state has filed a notice to seek a death sentence, “the notice shall be considered withdrawn and it shall be considered a notice to seek a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under specified circumstances,” according to a press release from the office of Gov. Martin O’Malley .

O’Malley’s office said Maryland is the 18th state to repeal the death penalty,

“Maryland has effectively eliminated a policy that is proven not to work. Evidence shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it cannot be administered without racial bias, and it costs three times as much as life in prison without parole,” the office said in a statement.

“Furthermore, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death. Working together with law enforcement partners, Maryland has driven down violent crime and homicides to three decade lows.”