EU urges US to stop executions

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The union says it "deeply regrets" the resumption of execution in the state of Georgia in the States.

14 May 2008

BRUSSELS - The European Union on Wednesday spoke out against the resumption of executions in the United States, saying that it "deeply regretted" the state of Georgia's killing of convicted murderer William Lynd.

"The European Union deeply regrets that Mr William Lynd was executed in the State of Georgia on May 6, 2008 (and) again reiterates its longstanding position against the death penalty in all circumstances," a statement from the EU's rotating presidency, currently held by Slovenia, on behalf of the bloc said.

"In light of this most regrettable resumption in the use of the death penalty in the US ... the EU urges the immediate re- establishment of a de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty across the entire United States, with a view to abolishing the death penalty," the statement said.

Lynd was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering his girlfriend at a controversial trial in 1990, and was sentenced to die by lethal injection.

However, in September the US brought in a de facto moratorium on such executions while the Supreme Court examined whether execution by lethal injection should be considered a cruel and unusual punishment.

On 16 April, the court ruled that such executions were constitutional, prompting several states, including Georgia, to schedule executions for the coming months.

The states' decision ran counter to a 18 December UN resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty, the EU statement pointed out.

"The EU notes that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the application of the death penalty 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," the statement said.

[dpa / Expatica]

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