Pope Francis has called fort the abolition of the death penalty, as well as life sentences, saying "[a] life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed." The Pope went on to say that it is "impossible to imagine" that states are incapable of developing more humane alternatives that respect human dignity. The Pope explained that sentences of death and life imprisonment are based on violence and revenge, which are irreconcilable to church teaching. He likened these harsh sentences to torture. He also expressed concern over pre-trial detention, pursuant to which people who are presumed innocent and possibly have not even been charged with a crime are nevertheless subject to penal conditions. The Pope added that we cannot simply punish our way out of all our problems.
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