Bishop Blaire also expressed the Church’s solidarity with victims, their families and “all who work for a just and safe society. Governor Martin O’Malley enacted the legislation May 2, making Maryland the 18th state to repeal the death penalty.
“We must lift up the dignity of all human life – even for those convicted of the worst crimes, and work to transform our culture so that it respects the inherent dignity and value of all people,” said Bishop Blaire. “Americans are beginning to realize that we can do better than the death penalty both to punish crime and keep our society safe. We welcome the decision by the Maryland legislature and Governor O’Malley to abolish the use of the death penalty in Maryland. This is a courageous step toward a culture of life.
The U.S. bishops have long called for the end of the use of the death penalty. They have echoed the words of recent popes, who have supported efforts for “political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty.” (Benedict XVI, November 2011) More information on the U.S. bishops’ advocacy on this issue can be found online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/death-penalty-capital-punishment/