Pope’s quotes: Death penalty

A quote from Pope Francis:

“States kill when they apply the death penalty, when they send their people to war or when they carry out extrajudicial or summary executions. They can also kill by omission, when they fail to guarantee to their people access to the bare essentials for life. … On some occasions it is necessary to repel an ongoing assault proportionately to avoid damage caused by the aggressor, and the need to neutralize him could lead to his elimination; this is a case of legitimate defense. However, the presuppositions of personal legitimate defense. However, the presuppositions of personal legitimate defense do not apply at the social level, without risk of misinterpretation. When the death penalty is applied, it is not for a current act of aggression, but rather for an act committed in the past. It is also applied to persons whose current ability to cause harm is not current, as it has been neutralized -- they are already deprived of their liberty.”

-- Letter to Federico Mayor, president of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, March 20, 2015

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