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March 22, 2015

Pope Francis categorically condemns death penalty as "inadmissible" in today's world

As reported in this piece from Vatican Radio, which describes itself the "voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the World," Pope Francis spoke about capital punishment during a meeting with members of an international anti-death penalty group. Here are details:

Capital punishment is cruel, inhuman and an offense to the dignity of human life. In today's world, the death penalty is "inadmissible, however serious the crime" that has been committed. That was Pope Francis’ unequivocal message to members of the International Commission against the death penalty who met with him on Friday morning in the Vatican.

In a lengthy letter written in Spanish and addressed to the president of the International Commission against the death penalty, Pope Francis thanks those who work tirelessly for a universal moratorium, with the goal of abolishing the use of capital punishment in countries right across the globe.

Pope Francis makes clear that justice can never be done by killing another human being and he stresses there can be no humane way of carrying out a death sentence. For Christians, he says, all life is sacred because every one of us is created by God, who does not want to punish one murder with another, but rather wishes to see the murderer repent. Even murderers, he went on, do not lose their human dignity and God himself is the guarantor.

Capital punishment, Pope Francis says, is the opposite of divine mercy, which should be the model for our man-made legal systems. Death sentences, he insists, imply cruel and degrading treatment, as well as the torturous anguish of a lengthy waiting period before the execution, which often leads to sickness or insanity.

The Pope ... makes quite clear that the use of capital punishment signifies “a failure” on the part of any State. However serious the crime, he says, an execution “does not bring justice to the victims, but rather encourages revenge” and denies any hope of repentence or reparation for the crime that has been committed.

March 22, 2015 at 12:49 PM | Permalink


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Many disagree with him on contraceptive use; some (like Scalia) disagree with him on this issue.

The pope's position does show the potshots at "the left" or whatever are a tad bit lame.

Posted by: Joe | Mar 22, 2015 4:40:29 PM

As the sole remaining member of the Truth Squad, really a full time job, I have a simple reply to the Pope's ipse dixit.

No mention of the murder victims, where there is quite a lively capital punishment pace going on right now. He is an appalling Argentinian leftist, shouting from the dustbin of history to which big government has been relegated. Naturally, he is oblivious to the generation of huge numbers of government make work jobs by criminals. Victims generate nothing and my rot in this awful Commie's book.

It is ironic that the Church was helped find its now accepted true place in politics after the French Revolution ended the business of the Inquisition by beheading and expelling 10,000 church officials. So the hypocrisy is through the roof.

The Inquisition enforced its business plan by roasting scientists, and other blasphemers. So how about washing your filthy hands, before pointing fingers at others.

Pope John Paul stood up to the Commies, and was shot by them. No the Commies are in the Papacy, just as they are running the government of the US. I am not referring to one of the worst Presidents in history, Obama, but I am including Harvard indoctrinated George Bush. The latter blew up the size of government, of the debt, of the federal employment, of the Register of Federal Regulations. They are all the same, the Commie filth. Some. like Bush are slicker liars.

Isn't it time, the lawyer profession grew up and started fulfilling its real function, by severing its ties to the Catholic Church? (See the court that looks like a church, the standing, the sitting, the pews, the buffoon sitting on the altar, with his asshole gavel, in his Halloween outfit from St. Thomas More's fashion preferences. See the supernatural doctrines outright plagiarized from the Catechism in a massive violation of the First Amendment.) You are not a criminal cult enterprise. You are not the Inquisition 2.0. You are not rent seekers. You are the keepers of that absolutely essential utility product, the rule of law. Try turning it on for a chage of pace. See what happens to your income, your self esteem, your public esteem.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 22, 2015 6:11:15 PM

No mention of the LWOP as an absolutely immune license to kill in prison, with more prison murders than executions in this country.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 23, 2015 12:59:28 AM

That's a strange statement, Mr. Claus, when the statistics clearly show that in-prison homicide rates are higher in capital punishment jurisdictions.

I would like to know on what basis you believe that the death penalty deters, or is necessary to deter, murder in prisons.

Posted by: Boffin | Mar 23, 2015 11:24:22 AM


I do not use deterrence as any argument against the death penalty.

1) the dose-response curve of the death penalty is at the too small a dose end, and will appear ineffective. Too little of a remedy, it does not work. Too much of a remedy, it becomes toxic. Botox, possibly the strongest poison on earth, in low doses, helps people all kinds of ways.

2) Punishing someone to scare a speculative other person he has never met, and who has not yet committed a crime violates the due process clause in the Fifth Amendment by its unfairness.

So I have disposed of the deterrence argument on behalf of abolitionists. I want fairness credit for that.

The death penalty is to incapacitate for safety. It is not even a punishment, though I used that word above. It is to get rid of the person. The reasoning is that the deceased will not hurt people. Do you need evidence for that claim?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 23, 2015 12:26:06 PM

Above, "against" the death penalty should read "for" the death penalty.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 23, 2015 12:30:07 PM

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