Dear Member of the Maryland General Assembly,
We write as representatives of our state’s extensive and diverse religious communities to speak with one voice to urge your action to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. We are confident that there is strong and mounting support for repeal of the death penalty both among your colleagues in the General Assembly, and throughout the population of Maryland.
As faith leaders, we are often consulted by the public for guidance on issues that require thoughtful reflection. On this issue, we come with unprecedented unity in opposition to the death penalty, as we write to you with the moral backing of official teachings and positions taken from our various denominations and faiths.
We also wish to be clear that our opposition to the death penalty is not only rooted in our religious traditions, but also reflects a pragmatic recognition of the facts. The death penalty fails us legally, morally, socially and economically. We wish to convey our agreement with the findings of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, which concluded that the death penalty is not in the best interests of our State, our justice system, the safety of our people, or even the families of murder victims.
We recognize with deep compassion the unmet needs and suffering of murder victims’ families in our state, and urge you to give priority to channeling the financial savings realized by death penalty repeal toward assisting survivors of homicide victims in Maryland.
We thank you for your leadership. We pray that you will be granted the wisdom, the strength, and the clarity of vision to move as early as possible to pass repeal in the next legislative session.