Comitato Paul Rougeau
Paul Rougeau was sentenced to death in Texas for the murder of an off-duty policeman. He always maintained he was innocent. In 1992, after he had spent 15 years on death row, the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto printed a letter by Paul Rougeau on its front page.
A group of Italian citizens then decided to form a committee to help him and soon received support from over 500 members around the world. The Committee maintained a correspondence with Paul Rougeau and hired an attorney to defend him. Despite several appeals and strong public mobilisation, Paul Rougeau was executed two years later.
At his request, the Committee took up the case of other death row inmates, such as Joe Cannon and Gary Graham.
The Committee keeps supporting death row inmates in the United States through correspondence and legal assistance. It organises abolitionist events in Italy, such as public speeches and educational activities about human rights and the death penalty in schools. It has published four books; it exchanges information through the Internet and circulates a monthly bulletin in Italian with articles and updates about the death penalty.
The Paul Rougeau Committee also helps and supports small groups and individuals who correspond with death row inmates in the United States. It cooperates with several organizations engaged in the defence of human rights and for the abolition of the death penalty, starting with Amnesty International.