Bishops Congratulate New Mexico on Death Penalty's Repeal, March 15, 2009

Year Published
  • 2014
  • English

USCCB News Release

March 19, 2009

New Mexico bishops and advocates worked hard for repeal
Bishop Murphy urged Governor Richardson to sign bill into law
New Mexico becomes one of 15 states to ban death penalty

USCCB Congratulates New Mexico on Repeal of the Death Penalty

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) congratulated the bishops of New Mexico and other advocates on their successful efforts to repeal the death penalty in New Mexico.

"The bishops of New Mexico and many others worked tirelessly to see New Mexico become a leader in turning away from the death penalty in our country," said Kathy Saile, director of the Office of Domestic Social Development at the USCCB.

On March 18, Governor Bill Richardson signed HB 285 into law making New Mexico the second state to repeal the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the use of the death penalty in 1976. In December 2007, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed legislation repealing the death penalty in that state. Fifteen states have now have laws banning the death penalty.

Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development at the USCCB, wrote to Governor Richardson on March 16, urging him to sign the legislation, saying it "would help begin building a culture of life in our country."