In a letter to the International Commission against the Death Penalty, the Pope says that today the death penalty is "inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed. It is an offence against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person.” He adds that it "does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance.”
In the forceful text, Pope Francis explains that "for the rule of law, the death penalty represents a failure, as it obliges the state to kill in the name of justice.”
He continues that with "the application of the death penalty, the convict is denied the possibility to repent or make amends for the harm caused.”
He recalls that distress prior to execution is a form of torture that leads many people to madness. He also describes life imprisonment as a "covert death penalty.”
In the letter, the Pope calls for a worldwide moratorium on executions so that capital punishment can finally come to an end.