Death penalty seen to punish mostly poor

Death penalty seen to punish mostly poor

MANILA, Feb. 1, 2017 – The country’s judicial process would penalize mostly the poor if the death penalty is restored, said the Franciscans in a statement.

“Death penalty’s effect will be anti-poor because of legal system is not fair and equal,” stressed the friars of the Province of San Pedro Bautista. “Our judicial process is deeply affected by corruption.”

“Death penalty denies the right to life of a person,” said the Franciscans. “It is discriminatory, especially to the members of the lower strata of the society who have less access to the judicial system.”

‘Structural violence’

The Franciscans expressed disappointment over the government’s push to restore capital punishment.

“Death penalty is not enough to instill fear in the hearts of drug addicts and pushers to not commit crime,” they added. “It (death penalty) is not an effective means to reduce crime.”

Crime would not be addressed by restoring capital punishment, the Franciscans insisted. It would only perpetuate or justify “structural violence in our society,” they said.

Not a deterrent

The Franciscans argued that capital punishment is not only a deterrent to crime but is both inhuman and unchristian.

Quoting Pope Francis, the friars said: “Every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.”

The Franciscans also called on lawmakers to balk at any initiative to restore death penalty. (Oliver Samson / CBCPNews)