By Catholic Review staff
The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 6-5 to send a proposed ban on the death penalty to the Senate floor. It was the first time in many years that the committee advanced repeal of the death penalty to a full Senate vote.
The Feb. 21 committee vote came on the heels of committee testimony by Archbishop William E. Lori and Gov. Martin J. O’Malley, who argued in favor of abolishing the death penalty in Maryland.
“While those who have done terrible harm to others deserve punishment, we urge a response that meets evil with a justice worthy of our best nature as human beings, enlightened by faith in the possibility of redemption and forgiveness,” Archbishop Lori said in his Feb. 14 testimony.
The Maryland Catholic Conference, legislative lobbying arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, has been a strong advocate of repeal.
Maryland would be the sixth state to abandon the death penalty in recent years, following New York (2004), New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009), Illinois (2010) and Connecticut (2011).
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