(CNSNews.com) – Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that one of the reasons the death penalty should be abolished is because it goes against one of the basic principles the republic was founded on – “a belief in the dignity of every person’s life” - but that dignity does not extend to unborn babies, according to O’Malley, who is “pro-choice.”
“The death penalty is not a deterrent. It does not work. It is expensive. It is flawed, and it cuts against some of the basic principles upon which our republic is founded, namely a belief in the dignity of every person’s life,” said O’Malley.
O’Malley ended the death penalty in Maryland two years ago.
“When Pope Francis spoke to Congress, he called for the global abolition of the death penalty. As someone who ended the death penalty in Maryland, who led that charge, how do you explain it to the survivors of heinous crimes who want justice, who want the murderers put to death by the state?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked.
“Yeah, very, very tough,” said O’Malley. “Before I left office, I met with the survivors of our death row inmates before commuting their sentences, and so this is the best I can do in terms of explaining it – not only to survivors, but to all of us.
“And it is that the death penalty is not a deterrent. It does not work. It is expensive. It is flawed, and it cuts against some of the basic principles upon which our republic is founded, namely a belief in the dignity of every person’s life, and so that’s why I’m opposed to the death penalty, and I applaud the pope for his courageous call to Congress,” he added.
“I think we need to do the things that work and stop doing the things that don’t,” O’Malley said.
When asked how O’Malley feels about abortion personally as a Catholic, the former governor said he is “pro-choice.”
“As a Catholic Democrat, you just talked about life and every life mattering. How do you personally grapple with the issue of abortion?” Tapper asked.
“Well this was, this was an issue of course in my own household growing up Catholic, and it’s one that of course I think every thinking person has to grapple with on a personal level, on a moral level and also on a legal level when one is sworn to uphold the laws of our country,” O’Malley said.
“I am pro-choice, having said that, I also believe that there are some issues that the government’s just no good at making for individuals. Among those decisions, the decisions made between women and their doctors, and so, but I do believe that all of us can make a lot of strides as a country in reducing infant mortality and eradicating childhood hunger,” he said.
“And that’s the common good, and that’s the work we focus on even as we leave to the individuals conscience some of these other decisions the government’s just no good at doing,” O’Malley added.