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Mar 19, 2013 7:04 AM by Jeff Langan

Lawmakers debate death penalty repeal

DENVER (AP) - Abolishing the death penalty in Colorado will get an initial vote in the state House as debate on an emotional issue begins in the Legislature.

The House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the bill Tuesday.

There are three men on Colorado's death row, but the bill would not affect them if it becomes law because it can't apply to current cases. That means the case of the Aurora theater shooting suspect will also not be affected by the proposal.

One Colorado lawmaker is proposing a countermeasure to put the repeal question to voters.

The debate comes as Maryland is poised to become the 18th state in the country to repeal the death penalty. Lawmakers there approved a bill last week, and the governor is expected to sign it.

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