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Statement by the Spokesperson on the execution of Mr Joseph Wood

EU News 326/2014

Brussels, 25 July 2014

"We deeply regret the conditions under which Mr Joseph Wood was executed in the State of Arizona on Wednesday, 23 July 2014. He suffered for almost 2 hours before finally succumbing to the lethal injection.

We strongly believe that where capital punishment occurs, it shall only be carried out so as to inflict the minimum possible suffering. The EU considers that this constitutes one of the minimum standards that states who insist on maintaining the death penalty should respect.

We also regret that the State of Arizona failed to notify the exact source and content of drugs that were used to execute Mr Wood. This is one of several similar cases that took place lately in other retentionist US States.

We are conscious about the serious nature of the crimes involved and express our sympathy to the family of the victims. However, it is our view that the capital punishment can never be justified.

We urge the authorities of the State of Arizona to consider a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition, to follow the positive example of the so far 18 US States who have abolished the death penalty."

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