Maryland death penalty repeal signed into law

From The Associated Press

Maryland has become the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to abolish the death penalty.

Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the measure at a crowded ceremony on Thursday. Attending was one-time Maryland death row inmate Kirk Bloodsworth. He is the first person in the U.S. freed because of DNA evidence after being convicted in a death penalty case.

Maryland is the 18th state to abolish the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Catholic Conference has issued a joyous, breathless press release titled, "Let the Light Shine! Maryland Repeals the Death Penalty." Here's an excerpt:

Help fund independent Catholic journalism.
Donate now.

Today the light of life shines brightly in the state of Maryland. The darkness of state-sponsored executions has ended with the death penalty repeal legislation's signing into law.

"This is a historic moment for Maryland as we become the 18th state to eliminate the death penalty," said Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. "In honor of this joyful moment and long-sought victory to end the death penalty in our state, the Basilica in Baltimore will be lit at dusk and will shine overnight for Maryland."

The press release specifically mentions "leadership of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, led by Jane Henderson and so many other partners in our coalition."

Of course, the bishops of the Maryland Catholic Conference from the Baltimore archdiocese, the Washington archdiocese, and the diocese of Wilmington could not muster up a simple "thank you" to the leadership of O'Malley, a Catholic Democrat, whose leadership on repealing the death penalty made this moment in time possible.

It reminds me of the story in the Bible of a lone leper who came back to thank Jesus for curing 10 of them of the disease (Luke 17: 11-19).

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.