WASHINGTON—The repeal of the deathpenalty in Maryland represents a courageous step toward a culture of life, saidthe bishop who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB)Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Bishop Stephen E. Blaireof Stockton, California, congratulated the Maryland bishops, the MarylandCatholic Conference, Catholic Mobilizing Network and all dedicated advocatesfor their efforts to repeal the death penalty in Maryland.
Bishop Blaire also expressed theChurch's solidarity with victims, their families and "all who work for a justand safe society." GovernorMartin O'Malley enacted the legislation May 2, making Maryland the 18th stateto repeal the death penalty.
"We must lift up the dignity of allhuman life – even for those convicted of the worst crimes, and work to transformour 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 betterthan the death penalty both to punish crime and keep our society safe. Wewelcome the decision by the Maryland legislature and Governor O'Malley toabolish the use of the death penalty in Maryland. This is a courageous steptoward a culture of life."
The U.S. bishops have long calledfor the end of the use of the death penalty. They have echoed the words ofrecent popes, who have supported efforts for "political and legislativeinitiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate thedeath 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/
Keywords: death penalty, capitalpunishment, Connecticut, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, human life and dignity,repeal, consistent ethic of life, Maryland, Domestic Justice and HumanDevelopment, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic Church, U.S.bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email
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