07/30/2000. Unity 2000 March

Expert appeals to America to stop two executions scheduled for today

Today’s scheduled execution in the United States of Vaughn Ross and Warren Hill, is an “indefensible, archaic way of punishment,” according to Parliamentary Assembly expert Marina Schuster.

The General Rapporteur on Abolition of the Death Penalty said: “It is clear that the world is becoming an increasingly lonely place for states that still practice executions. A consensus is building that the death penalty should go, a trend that should be encouraged. Execution is an indefensible archaic way of punishment. We strongly urge the authorities to not put Vaughn Ross and Warren Hill to death.

“Especially with a view to Hill, we are deeply concerned by the possibility of a mentally disabled person being executed. In a 2002 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States barred the execution of people suffering from mental impairment, as this is in clear violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Our appeal must not be perceived as outside interference. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as well as the General Assembly of the United Nations called several times on states to abolish the death penalty worldwide.

“The planned executions of Ross and Hill would be an unpardonable blemish on the human rights record of the United States, an observer state with the Council of Europe.”

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