Pope Francis is not only against the death penalty, he is also against life sentences:
“All Christians and people of goodwill are called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms, but also for the improvement of prison conditions in the respect of the human dignity of those who have been deprived of freedom. I link this to the death sentence. In the Penal Code of the Vatican, the sanction of life sentence is no more. A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed”.
PopeWatch has no doubt that Pope Francis has great compassion for those criminals incarcerated for life for truly heinous crimes. PopeWatch does doubt if the Pope understands in the slightest that his unwillingness to support life sentences for even the most heinous of crimes might be viewed by people like the parents of Stephanie Neiman, go here to read about her, as utterly lacking in compassion.