By Mona Cadena (AIUSA MARO Field Organizer and WRO Deputy Director, 1999-2009)
This blog series tells the story of Amnesty International’s involvement in Maryland’s historic death penalty repeal campaign, featuring the memories and insights of volunteers and staff who played critical roles over more than three decades.
I first started working against Maryland’s death penalty as a field organizer for Amnesty International USA’s Mid-Atlantic regional office. I was the AIUSA representative for the Maryland Citizens Against State Executions (MDCASE) coalition. At the time we were working on winning a moratorium on executions so the state would have an opportunity to study the impact of the death penalty and ask important questions: was it applied in a racist manner, geographically arbitrary, and/or too expensive?
Between 1999 and 2003, I worked with Amnesty International volunteers who organized around the state, educated the public and contacted their elected officials. I left the Mid-Atlantic for the West and in 2009 had the great pleasure to be the Amnesty International representative on the victorious New Mexico repeal campaign.