Pope Francis Wants Life Imprisonment and the Death Penalty Abolished
Pope Francis called for capital punishment to be abolished along with life imprisonment on Thursday, October 23rd, addressing delegates from the International Association of Penal Law, specifically calling life imprisonment “a hidden death penalty”.
“All Christians and people of good will are called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether legal or illegal, and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty,” the 77-year old pontiff said.
Is he kidding? There is a reason that some people are “deprived of their liberty”. Someone should assemble a bunch of cases to show Pope Francis. How about the case of serial killer Lemuel Smith, currently serving life?
Already a suspect in a murder, Smith kidnapped a woman and nearly beat her to death at age 17. Convicted and sentenced to 20 years, he served about half that. About a year after being released, he kidnapped and sexually assaulted 2 women. He got 4-15 years for the second crime. Released in 1976, he went on a killing spree and brutally murdered 4 people. When finally caught, he had kidnapped an 18-year old woman and was forcing her to drive him to Albany.
In subsequent trials, Smith was sentenced to 10-20 years for rape; 25 to life for kidnapping and 50 to life for 2 of the murders. Indictments for 2 other murders were dismissed since there was no way he was ever getting out of jail. But that did not stop Lemuel Smith from killing at all. On May 15, 1981, Lemuel Smith murdered Corrections Officer Donna Payant inside the maximum-security Green Haven Correctional Facility. High-profile lawyers William Kunstler and C. Vernon Mason rushed to the defense of Smith, claiming the murdered guard was promiscuous and anything else they could make up, but were unable to overcome the evidence of bite marks Smith left on the victim’s body. Smith was convicted on April 21, 1983 and sentenced to death on June 10th. A year later, the death sentence was commuted to another life sentence.
Christianity and good will has to include protecting the public.
In the meantime, the Telegraph reports that Pope Francis will be sending a special envoy to the diocese of Albenga-Imperia in the Liguria region of northern Italy to investigate allegations that priests have posted naked photos of themselves on gay websites, raided church coffers and sexually harassed parishioners. Pope Francis really needs to get his own house in order before he starts worrying about the secular world.