Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is poised to launch a White House bid this month, reaffirmed his strong opposition to capital punishment Friday following a federal jury’s decision to sentence to death one of those convicted for the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Democrat said in a statement that while he respects the verdict, he remains opposed to the death penalty as “a matter of principle and as a matter of policy.”

“The death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent, and the appeals process is expensive and cruel to the surviving family members,” O’Malley said. “Furthermore, the nations responsible for the vast majority of public executions include North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, China and the United States of America. Our country does not belong in that company.”

Maryland abolished its death penalty in 2013 at O’Malley’s urging. As governor, O’Malley, a practicing Catholic, spent several years lobbying state lawmakers on the issue before becoming successful.

A federal jury on Friday sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago after after deliberating for more than 14 hours.

O’Malley, who has been ramping up for a presidential bid, plans an announcement about his political future May 30 in Baltimore.