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August 4, 2011

New Amnesty International paper urges all US officials to seek to abolish or block executions

Via this entry by the Death Penalty Information Center, I see that Amnesty International has a new report discussing recent lethal injection controversies in addition to reflecting on the modern US death penalty era. This new AI report, entitled "An Embarrassment of Hitches: Reflections on the Death Penalty, 35 Years After Gregg v. Georgia, As States Scramble for Lethal Injection Drugs," covers lots of ground, and I found especially notable this introductory direct pitch to all US officials to seek to bring an end to executions:

Amnesty International urges officials in the USA –- at local, state and federal level -– to work for abolition. Pending abolition, they should make every effort to bring about an immediate moratorium on executions.

The federal government has a leadership role to play in this.  It should acknowledge that although international human rights law recognizes the existence of the death penalty in some countries, international standards are abolitionist in outlook and therefore place an expectation on governments that they will work towards abolition.  The federal government should lead by example, with a view to ending the USA’s increasing isolation on this fundamental human rights issue.

The US Attorney General should stop authorizing federal prosecutors to seek death sentences. The Justice Department should no longer intervene in favour of state-level executioners in litigation in federal court.  The US Department of Commerce and other federal agencies should oppose any trading in drugs for use in lethal injection executions. The Convening Authority for military commissions should not forward any charges as capital in prosecutions at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.  Military prosecutors should cease any pursuit of death sentences.  Congress and the administration should work to withdraw all reservations and understandings filed by the USA upon ratification of treaties impacting on the death penalty.

August 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Permalink


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"Amnesty International urges officials in the USA –- at local, state and federal level -– to work for abolition."

In an equally newsworthy development, the sun rose in the east this morning.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Aug 4, 2011 1:43:47 PM

The one thing Amnesty International does NOT urge elected officials to do is to keep faith with the considered views of the voters who put them in office.

Yes indeed! Rule by the elite! That's the ticket!!

Oh........wait.......didn't we fight a Revolution or something to throw off rule by the elite?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 4, 2011 2:24:28 PM

I urge all murderers, sexual sadists, and serial killing hobbyists to think about their victims and families' feelings more. Please, stop killing people. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 5, 2011 5:37:36 AM

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