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United States: Statement by the Spokesperson on the first federal-level execution of a woman in decades

Brussels, 13/01/2021 - 17:03, UNIQUE ID: 210113_8
Statements by the Spokesperson

The European Union deeply regrets the execution at a federal level in the United States of the first woman in almost seven decades. The EU had called for clemency to be granted to Lisa Montgomery taking into consideration international law and internationally accepted minimum standards that should be respected regarding people with mental disorders.

Since the resumption of the federal death penalty in July 2020, after a 17-year hiatus, we have witnessed a high number of executions. The EU stands firmly and unequivocally by the victims of crime and their families and effectively prosecutes criminals in its territory. But capital punishment is incompatible with human dignity and the right to life, constitutes an inhuman and degrading treatment, and does not have any proven deterrent effect. Miscarriages of justice, inevitable in any judicial system, are irreversible. The EU calls on the US administration to reverse its decision to carry out the remaining federal-level executions during the last days of the current administration.

These executions contradict the growing momentum towards the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, as reflected by the recent adoption of the 8th Resolution calling for a "Moratorium on the use of death penalty" at the UN General Assembly on 16 December. The high number of federal executions also contradict the trend among individual States within the US, which performed the fewest executions in 37 years in 2020.

The European Union is strongly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and will spare no effort to work towards its abolition worldwide in line with the new EU Action Plan for Human Rights and Democracy for 2020-2024.

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