Maryland governor's office wants to speak with victims of death-row inmates, official says

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BALTIMORE — Four men remain on Maryland's death row even though Governor Martin O'Malley signed a bill repealing the state's death penalty last May. But with only two months left in office, O'Malley may be taking action to commute the sentences to life in prison before Republican Larry Hogan takes office.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said Friday that O'Malley's office contacted him and asked to speak with relatives of two men whose killers were sentenced to death in Baltimore County.

Shellenberger says the move indicates that the governor is "looking at his commutation powers."

O'Malley's office declined to comment.

Two weeks ago, the state's attorney general filed a brief in support of an argument by one inmate's attorney that the death sentences are illegal because the death penalty was repealed.

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