Parting Thoughts: Making a Safe Place

For several months now, I have been interning here at TADP. I am so grateful for the insight this experience has given me, and I am sad to be saying my goodbyes today. The main feeling I take with me, however, is hope.

In my short time here, we have seen years of hard work pay off. Just this month, Maryland became the eighteenth state to repeal the death penalty. Each state that repeals offers new opportunities for discussion across the country. Each small change takes us a step closer to the tipping point where it is no longer easy to pretend that there is unanimous support for capital punishment.  The conversation is growing and it will be for a long time to come.

Unfortunately, a number of events in the past year have brought to the surface the feelings that make it hard to feel safe enough to keep moving forward. Mass shootings, such as Sandy Hook Elementary, and bombings at the Boston Marathon bring back the grips of fear. The fear can become so great that it makes putting on more and thicker armor as our only protection. The death penalty can become part of that false armor, but it will never give us the real safety we seek. It cannot truly keep us safe because it is failing to give us real justice, deterrence, and closure.

I hope that the coming years bring us into a safer place. I hope that we continue to see positive ways to make victims’ family members, wrongly accused persons, and all members of our society safe. And, I believe that we will see these things happen because groups like TADP are working across the country to make us safe in a meaningful way. I am grateful to have been a part of it.


Photo by  Elvert Xavier Barnes Photography

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