EU urges US not to resume executions
The union expresses disappointment over US Court’s ruling that death by lethal injection does not violate the constitution.25 April 2008
BRUSSELS - A total of 39 European countries issued a common declaration Friday urging the United States not to resume executions.
The move follows a 16 April ruling by the US Supreme Court, which concludes that death by lethal injection does not violate the constitution. This has put an end to a de facto moratorium on capital punishment in the US.
"The European Union notes with disappointment the United States Supreme Court's decision," said the statement issued on behalf of all 27 EU member states and endorsed by 12 other countries.
"In light of this US Supreme Court decision, we strongly encourage the continuation of the de facto moratorium in place within the United States allowing the ongoing debate on the complex issues involved to be thoroughly deliberated," it added.
At least 14 executions are reported to have been postponed while US judges considered their verdict. Three of these executions are now expected to take place in the summer.
The EU is unanimously against the death penalty and in December submitted a resolution, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, calling for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to abolishing it.
"The EU recalls that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the application of capital punishment represents an irreparable and irreversible loss of human life. No legal system is immune from mistakes and there is no reliable evidence that the death penalty provides added value in terms of deterrence," EU governments said in their joint statement.
The EU statement was endorsed by 12 other European countries, including Norway, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia and Azerbaijan.
[dpa / Expatica]