Pope Francis Wants Life Imprisonment and the Death Penalty Abolished

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3 Responses

  1. Dudley Sharp says:

    Pope Francis: How Wrong on the Death Penalty?
    Dudley Sharp

    In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law (1), Pope Francis denounced the death penalty and life imprisonment, continuing the pattern of errors in criminal justice matters.

    1) Pope Francis condemned “a ‘penal populism’ that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice.”

    Do any leaders say that “we must solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice.”?

    Of course not. I can see no reason why the Pope would have said it.

    2) Pope Francis says, “It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor.”

    “Impossible to imagine” is poor reasoning, nor does it have any biblical, theological or traditional support.

    On this serious topic, reality, not imagination, should be the rational guide.

    The issues are what represents justice and how can we best protect the innocent from unjust aggressors, within the reality of man’s criminal justice systems.

    Would anyone say: “It is ‘impossible to imagine’ that the Church would not protect innocents from sexual predator priests.”

    Of course not. Deal with reality.

    Reality says that the death penalty protects innocents to a greater degree than does LWOP (2) and both protect innocents better than lesser sanctions. (2).

    “Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm.” (CCC 2265). Clearly, the death penalty and LWOP do that better than any other sanctions.

    The Pope’s suggestion is to spare more violent criminals, putting their eternal souls more at risk, and to sacrifice more innocents.

    3) Neither the last 3 Popes, nor Evangelium Vitae nor the recent CCC have addressed, or even acknowledged, the huge problems that we have with all criminal justice systems, worldwide (3) – how common it is for criminal justice systems to allow known unjust aggressors, to harm over and over again (3). It is very common.

    Possibly, Pope Francis might consider:

    (To paraphrase the Pope)

    “All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to show their love and support for those innocents harmed by known violent unjust aggressors and out of respect for the human dignity of those innocent persons, who have been deprived of their safety, their lives and/or their property, to make sure that it will be “impossible to imagine” not protecting those innocents to a higher degree than we have in the past and, thereby preventing unjust aggressors from harming, even, more in the future, not only causing more harm to innocents, but also more harm to those unjust aggressors’ eternal future.”

    4) The Pope may have defined why the last 3 Popes have been such a disaster on criminal justice issues.

    Pope Francis calls sanctioned guilty criminals “sacrificial victims”, a true insult to actual innocent crime victims, a stunning moral error, with the last four decades of Church horrors staring him in the face.

    Hard to comprehend.

    Footnotes

    1) Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment, 10/27/2014 (LINK)

    2) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues (LINK)

    3) Catechism & State Protection (LINK)

  2. john blahuta says:

    the death penalty is barbaric. look what countries have it, besides the u.s.! real good company we are keeping here. with life in prison i am ok. society is protected and the criminal has a long time to think.

    and what about all the INNOCENT people, who were executed and later it turned out somebody else did it. you can release somebody from prison if a mistake was made (by accident or ON PURPOSE…) but you can’t bring somebody back to life. the dp is nothing else than murder by the government. all the necessary elements are there: intent to kill, deliberation.

    Intent whether by an individual or a government does not matter. murder is murder.

    • VJ says:

      I am with you on the innocent people. I happen to believe Bruno Hauptmann was railroaded and have read other cases where the trial was a travesty. But where there is incontrovertible evidence as in the case in this post, I would have been all for the dp. Look how many innocent people this guy harmed and killed. He even killed that woman while incarcerated! A predator like that doesn’t have any “human dignity”.