Pope Francis and Prisoner Rights

Pope Francis and Prisoner Rights
Pope Francis has been known to speak up about many controversial topics during his time as leader of the Catholic Church. His most recent topic of interest seems to be regarding the way prisoners are treated. The Pope has made it clear that we must start treating prisoners in a more humane way due to the fact that they are still people with souls and should not be treated otherwise. In recent statements, the Pope has criticized the counterterrorism strategy of extraordinary renditions, which involves taking suspects and torturing them to extract information from them in secret foreign prisons. This practice has been used in the American CIA since 9/11 and 50 other nations according to Open Society Foundations. As well, the Pope has also called for the abolition of the death penalty and even life penalties. The Pope says that, “All Christians and men of good will are called today to fight not just for the abolition of the death penalty in all its forms, whether it be legal or illegal, but also the goal of improving prison conditions, out of respect of the human dignity of people deprived of their freedom.”
As the Catholic church has always stated its belief in treating human life with respect, even if that is not the case all of the time, the Pope’s address should come as no surprise to the rest of the world. It is understandable that the church would advocate better prisoner rights on the basis that all humans have souls and deserve respect. I do believe that the Pope has a good point and most prisoners do not deserve to be treated like non-humans. The death penalty should not be an option and I am glad it does not exist in Canada. Yes, many convicts have made horrible decisions and are, in many cases, bad people. However, there is no justification for the death penalty. On the other hand, I don’t believe that life sentences should be abolished. They are in effect for people who commit horrendous crimes and should not be released back in to society. There is definite justification, in my opinion, for allowing life sentences and NOT the death penalty.


One thought on “Pope Francis and Prisoner Rights

  1. Commented on “Pope Francis and Prisoner Rights”: http://bit.ly/13NU4QS

    In 2013 there were still approximately 22 countries around the world who had at least one criminal case resulting in the death penalty. I do agree that the death penalty is inhumane and should be abolished around the world, something that the organization Amnesty International has been working with the United Nations to bring about. I don’t believe however that life sentences in prison should be abolished as well. I agree with the church when they say that all human life deserves to be treated with respect but I’m wary about what this means. People serving life sentences usually have committed some crime which would not have given another human life respect. No to say this is an eye for an eye situation but the issue of life sentences is not something that religion alone can explain. I agree that people who are given life sentences are people who the court believe can’t be rehabilitated back into regular society. I think the good of the many has to be considered here and it’s unclear the impact of letting these people out of their life sentence would have on other human lives.

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