BALTIMORE — Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said Thursday that the death penalty should no longer apply to an inmate whose sentence was imposed before Maryland abolished capital punishment last year.

Gansler announced that he was filing a brief with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to support attorneys for Jody Lee Miles.

Miles was convicted in the 1997 robbery and murder of Edward Atkinson, a musical theater director, in Wicomico County.

Maryland's repeal of capital punishment does not affect the four men on death row, and they are still under a death sentence. But, Gansler noted, Maryland no longer has regulations and procedures to carry out an execution, even for a crime and a sentence imposed before the repeal of capital punishment.

He said it is wrong to have Miles under a death sentence when Maryland has abolished capital punishment.

Gansler is asking the court to impose a sentence for life without parole.

The filing relates only to Miles' case, Gansler said, but it opens the door for attorneys for the other three inmates to pursue similar requests with the courts to replace capital sentences with prison terms of life without parole.