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Maryland Bans Death Penalty

NAACP President Ben Jealous, left, speaks at a news conference in front of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley in Annapolis, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013, after the Maryland General Assembly approved a measure to ban capital punishment. The bill now goes to O'Ma

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signs a bill repealing the death penalty in his state. (AP)

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(AURN) -- Maryland has become the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to abolish the death penalty in more than half a century. Maryand's governor, Martin O'Malley, signed the measure into law Thursday. West Virginia got rid of capital punishment in 1965. 

NAACP President Ben Jealous was among those on hand for the signing ceremony.  The organization has been part of a multi-agency effort to abolish the death penalty in many states.

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