Pope Francis called for the worldwide ending of capital punishment, when he returned to Rome from Mexico. He had previously made the same plea when addressing the United States Congress.
I have known of too many miscarriages of justice, for example the notorious cases of the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4, not to agree with the Pope’s call.
This is a global Year for Mercy. A temporary ban on executing convicted criminals would be an excellent contribution to this year, giving time for national laws to be reformed. Ending the death penalty is definitely a pro-life issue.
Last year more than 500 people in Pakistan were killed, because someone thought that family honour had been outraged. The dead were mainly women, though they included some men.
I am glad to say that Pakistan’s Prime Minister called for the law on honour killings to be strengthened. He was supported by religious leaders and by the Pakistan Human Rights Commission.
I trust that Muslim leaders everywhere will call for an end to honour and revenge killings, since this is an issue that crosses national boundaries. It is one that should be ruled by public law and due process.