The pope wants a death penalty ban during his year of mercy

February 21, 2016 2:57 PM

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ROME — Pope Francis appealed to Catholic leaders around the world to work to stop executions during this year, and said the death penalty should be abolished permanently.

“The commandment ‘You shall not kill’ has absolute value, and covers both the innocent and the guilty,” Francis said Sunday after his weekly Angelus prayer. “…even the criminal keeps the inviolable right to life, a gift from God.”

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