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HR Ashton on the Execution of Clayton Lockett in the US State of Oklahoma

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

“It was with deep regret that we learnt about the execution of Mr Clayton Lockett in the US State of Oklahoma on the evening of 29 April.

We recognise the suffering of the victim of the crime, and express sincere sympathy to the family. However, the details regarding the conditions for the aborted execution and subsequent death by heart attack of Mr Lockett underline the concerns over the fundamental fairness of the death penalty, as it is increasingly perceived as a brutal form of punishment that disregards human values.

With regard to the temporary injunction on the execution of Mr. Charles Warner, who had been scheduled to die on the same evening as Mr. Lockett, the European Union urges a permanent moratorium in his case and indeed for all such sentences in Oklahoma after this tragic series of events.

The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under any circumstances, based on the conviction that the death penalty is cruel, inhumane and irreversible. The EU calls for a global moratorium on executions as a first step towards its universal abolition.”