Raad van de Europese Unie
| | | |
|COUNCIL OF | |EN |
|THE EUROPEAN UNION | | |
|Brussels, 21 August 2007 |
|12397/07 (Presse 191) |
|P 070/07 |
|PRESS RELEASE |
|Subject: the 400th execution in Texas |
|Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the|
|400th execution in Texas |
The European Union notes with great regret the upcoming execution in the
State of Texas which would be the 400th since the reinstatement of the
death penalty in 1976. Therefore, the European Union strongly urges
Governor Rick Perry to exercise all powers vested in his office to halt all
upcoming executions and to consider the introduction of a moratorium in the
State of Texas.
The European Union is unreservedly opposed to the use of capital punishment
under all circumstances and has consistently called for the universal
abolition of this punishment. We believe that elimination of the death
penalty is fundamental to the protection of human dignity, and to the
progressive development of human rights. We further consider this
punishment to be cruel and inhumane. There is no evidence to suggest that
the use of the death penalty serves as a deterrent against violent crime
and the irreversibility of the punishment means that miscarriages of
justice - which are inevitable in all legal systems - cannot be redressed.
Consequently, the death penalty has been abolished throughout the European
In countries that maintain the use of capital punishment, the European
Union seeks the progressive restriction of both its scope and the number of
offences for which capital punishment may be employed, as defined in
several human rights instruments.
In this regard, the European Union welcomes the United States Supreme Court
rulings of June 2002 and March 2005 declaring the execution of persons with
mental retardation and the execution of juveniles respectively, to be
unconstitutional. The European Union urges the US authorities to extend
these restrictions, in particular, to the execution of persons with severe
mental illness. The European Union welcomes the US commitment to the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). However, the European Union
regrets the US decision to withdraw from the Optional Protocol of the VCCR,
which gives the ICJ jurisdiction over disputes arising from the convention.
The EU appreciates and values its co-operation with the US on a wide range
of human rights concerns around the world. The European Union therefore
takes this opportunity to renew its call for a moratorium to be placed on
the application of the death penalty, by both the US federal and state
authorities, in anticipation of its legal abolition.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process
and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and
the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the
European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova,
Armenia and Azerbaijan align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be
part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.