European Union External Action

The EU makes an urgent appeal to Governor Abbott for clemency on behalf of Mr. Rodney Reed

01/11/2019 - 19:46
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In a letter to the Governor of Texas, the Honorable Greg Abbott, EU Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis stated that "the European Union regrets that the State of Texas plans to execute Mr. Rodney Reed on November 20th and wishes to make an urgent appeal for clemency on his behalf". Ambassador Lambrinidis added that "the European Union recognizes that the murder of Ms. Stacey Stites was a terrible act deserving of harsh punishment and wishes to express its sincere sympathy to the family and friends of the victim. However, the European Union also firmly believes that capital punishment does not serve the memory or bring compensation for the victims of heinous crimes. We believe that it has no proven deterrence effect and carries the risk of irreversible punishment in cases of fatal judicial errors, which are inevitable in any court proceeding no matter how thorough".Ambassador Lambrinidis then reiterated that "the European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances and accordingly seeks its universal abolition. We believe that the elimination of the death penalty is fundamental to the protection of human dignity and the advancement of human rights". 

He then concluded by stressing that "evidence in Mr. Reed's case casts substantial doubt as to his culpability. Moreover, Mr. Reed is seeking DNA testing of evidence that has not been previously tested. Under these circumstances, we believe the state should not proceed with the execution without allowing for those tests. Taking the above considerations into account, Mr. Governor, we respectfully urge you to exercise all powers vested in your office to grant clemency to Rodney Reed".