VATICAN CITY STATE: HOLY SEE CALLS FOR A GLOBAL MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY
March 5, 2015: The Holy See called today for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty aiming at the abolition.
Speaking in Geneva at the 28th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Holy Seeâ€™s Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, urged countries to use a â€śmore humaneâ€ť form of punishment.
Recalling the Evangelium Vitae of Pope John Paul II in 1995, Tomasi remembered that the practical circumstances found in most States, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, it appears evident nowadays that means other than the death penalty â€śâ€¦ are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons.â€ť
Quoting Pope Francis, he underlined â€śthe use made by totalitarian and dictatorial regimesâ€¦ as a means of suppressing political dissidence or of persecuting religious and cultural minorities.â€ť
Moreover, we should take into account that no clear positive effect of deterrence results from the application of the death penalty and that the irreversibility of this punishment does not allow for eventual corrections in the case of wrongful convictions.
In conclusion the Holy See Delegation fully supports the efforts to abolish the use of the death penalty, and invites to improve prison conditions, to ensure respect for the human dignity of the people deprived of their freedom. (Source: Vatican Radio, Ansa, 05/03/2015)