US Supreme Court revives “failed” death penalty

on 17 April 2008

The death penalty is a failed public policy. This decision (case Baze vs. Rees, Kentucky) by a majority of the Court does nothing to address the growing public concern that the death penalty is deeply flawed. By allowing the continuation of the United States’ practice of “tinkering with the machinery of death” the Court again leaves the United States out of step with the majority of the world’s nations : 135 States worldwide no longer use capital punishment.

In the seven months since the last execution in the United States, the United Nations General Assembly has called for a worldwide moratorium on executions and the State of New Jersey has abolished the death penalty. In the same time four more innocent persons have been released in the United States after serving a collective 79 years awaiting execution for crimes they did not commit. The systemic failures of the justice have now placed 128 innocent persons on United States death rows since 1976.

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty calls on the United States, and its 36 retentionist states, to recognize what many Americans, including the Court’s two dissenting Justices and Justice John Paul Stevens, already know: it is time for the United States to recognize that the death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment, as stipulated in the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, and to abolish its use throughout the United States.

Contacts: Cécile MARCEL, Campaign Coordinator – Phone : +33 1 57 21 07 53

In the US: Elizabeth ZITRIN – Phone : +1 415-824-5974

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