A mission of the International Commission against the Death Penalty to the United States

By International Commission against the Death Penalty and Emmanuel Trépied, on 21 July 2017

The delegation of the International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP) visited New York between 14 and 16 May 2017.  The delegation consisted of former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and ICDP Vice President Navi Pillay, former President of Switzerland and ICDP Vice President Ruth Dreifuss, former Prime Minister of Haiti and ICDP Commissioner Michèle Duvivier, and former Governor of US state of New Mexico and ICDP Commissioner Bill Richardson. The interactive dialogue discussed possible strategies, noting the complexity and uniqueness of the state of capital punishment in the US.

The ICDP delegation met diplomats from countries that retain the death penalty. During the discussion, they highlighted steps taken by their Governments to reduce the scope of the death penalty including the possibility to establish an official moratorium on the death penalty, as an initial step towards abolition.

The delegation had meetings with senior officials of the United Nations to discuss areas of mutual interest with regard to furthering the scope of abolition of the death penalty.  Likewise, the ICDP members met with experts from leading international and domestic civil society organizations in an interactive session to identify new ideas and strategies to further the discourse of abolition, in the United States and internationally.

The ICDP delegation held an interactive session with Ambassadors of Member States of the Support Group of the International Commission against the Death Penalty. ICDP President Federico Mayor declared that these actions will ensure the US join the countries who have recognized that “modern justice systems can protect the public from crime without the irrevocable and cruel nature of the death penalty and the constant risk of executing an innocent person.”

“We believe that it is time for the US to abolish capital punishment and such a step will greatly add momentum towards a world free of the death penalty,” said Mr. Mayor.

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