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Pope Francis meets with Lidia Guerrero, the mother of a death row inmate in the US

2016-06-13

The mother of the only Argentinian sentenced to death in the United States met with the Pope and asked him to intercede to help free her son, Victor Saldaño.

He was charged with murder in 1995 and has spent 20 years awaiting execution. He is psychologically devastated.

LIDIA GUERRERO 
Mother of Victor Saldaño
"Yes, he told me he that he was praying and asked us to continue to pray for him as well. I'm sure he's in the Pope's prayers. My son's situation is beyond desperate. On three occasions he asked to be executed.”

Lidia Guerrero previously met with the Pope in 2014. However, the situation has not progressed and her son's mental health has gotten worse over time.

LIDIA GUERRERO 
Mother of Victor Saldaño
"It is understandable that what he is living is not a life. He is psychologically tortured, he is in isolation. He has a lack of physical contact and relationship with humans, it has actually led him to no longer wish to live. He has hope because of this interview the Pope has granted me.”

This is Victor Saldaño's second trail. The first conviction was declared void because the testimonies presented against him had racist overtones.

The second sentence, however, was ruled after the accused was in prison for seven years. Enough time for his mental state to deteriorate.

JUAN CARLOS VEGA
Lawyer
"Saldaño is innocent. Listen to what I have said. His first judgment was declared void and the second trial is pending on a declaration of invalidity with more fundamentals than the first because they have condemned a madman.”

Lidia Guerrero is hoping that the Pope can take every effort to help get her son out of the prison and placed in a psychiatric hospital.

Pope Francis asked for the abolition of the death penalty in the United States back in 2015.


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