Mercy Attained

On July 17 the convicted murderer David Paul Hammer succeeded in an appeal against his death penalty sentence. A federal judge in Pennsylvania agreed to commute his sentence to life without parole. In April 1996 at a penitentiary in Allenwood, Pa., Hammer strangled his cellmate, 27-year-old Andrew Hunt Marti. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in November 1998 after he pleaded guilty to the murder. A group of Sisters of Mercy testified on his behalf, including the long-time anti-death penalty activist Camille D’Arienzo, R.S.M. After the verdict was announced, she commented: “David has been given the gift of time to work out his salvation, to continue helping others in prison and outside its walls. And so very many of us are grateful.” Sister D’Arienzo could not say if the sisters’ testimony influenced the judge’s decision, but, she added, “We are sure, however, that it didn’t hurt. It wouldn’t be the first time Mercy has seasoned Justice.”

 

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A 14-year-old boy receives medical treatment at Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, after he was in injured during an attack on a mosque (AP Photo/Amr Nabil).
The pope described the attack as a “wanton act of brutality directed at innocent civilians gathered in prayer.”
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
“The Senate proposal is fundamentally flawed as written and requires amendment,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane in a Nov. 22 letter to senators.
Pope Francis greets people at the “Regional Hub,” a government-run processing center for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in Bologna, Italy, Oct. 1. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
Although he named no countries, Vatican observers believe he is referring especially to political leaders in several western and eastern European countries.
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
For Thanksgiving, we give you an inside look into what Jesuit basketball teams to watch out for this season.
Olga SeguraNovember 24, 2017