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Md. To Vote On Death Penalty, Gun Control

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Key votes on bills to repeal the death penalty and toughen gun control in Maryland are expected Thursday.
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Key votes on bills to repeal the death penalty and toughen gun control in Maryland are expected Thursday.

Maryland could get closer to abolishing capital punishment and strengthening the state's gun laws.

Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, said he expects the committee to approve an end to the death penalty by a 6-5 vote Thursday night.

Repealing the death penalty has been one of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's top priorities.

Frosh also predicts a 6-5 vote approving the governor's expansive gun control bill. The bill includes a ban on military-style assault weapons and calls for some of the strictest handgun licensing laws in the United States.

Should Frosh's predictions come true, both bills will head to the full Senate.

On Thursday morning, the House of Delegates gave final approval to a measure that would overturn a state court ruling deeming pit bulls an "inherently dangerous" breed. The court ruling left pit bull owners and landlords who rent to them more liable in court. 

The bill that passed the House is in line with a measure Frosh tried to pass during a special session of the General Assembly last summer.

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