Pope condemns death penalty, life prison terms

Urged all people of good will to fight against the death penalty and to work to improve prison conditions overall so that inmates' dignity is respected


Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has condemned the practice of extraordinary renditions used by the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law on Thursday, Francis also called life prison terms "hidden death sentences" and denounced the use of preventive detention as a "hidden, illegal punishment."

Pope Francis prays in front of the Western Wall, in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, May 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Pope Francis prays in front of the Western Wall, in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, May 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

He urged all people of good will to fight against the death penalty and to work to improve prison conditions overall so that inmates' dignity is respected.

Francis urged the international community to stop renditions, saying it was an "abuse" for countries to allow suspects to be kidnapped from their territory and transferred to torture centers. He said the principle of the dignity of each human being must prevail over everything.

Associated Press
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