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A reform in the system of criminal jurisprudence, by which the death penalty shall no longer be inflicted . . . and by which our so-called prisons shall be virtually transformed into vast reformatory workshops, from which the unfortunate may emerge to be useful members of society, instead of the alienated citizens they now are.
Our legal system, including the police, is anti-Dalit and anti-poor. The death penalty laws’ wrathful majesty, in blood-shot equality, deals the fatal blow on the poor not the rich, the pariah not the brahmin, the black not the white, the underdog not the top dog, the dissenter not the conformist. . . The law barks at all but bites only the poor, the powerless, the illiterate, the ignorant.
While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
They sensed that what had happened around them and in their presence, and in them, was irrevocable. Never again could it be cleansed; it would prove that man, the human species – we, in short – had the potential to construct an enormity of pain, and that pain is the only force created from nothing, without cost and without effort. It is enough not to see, not to listen, not to act.