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CFSP Statements


Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU concerning the death penalty in the USA

On September 11, 2007 the Ambassadors of the European Union in Washington appealed to the Governor of Kentucky, the Honorable Ernie Fletcher to spare the life of Mr. Ralph Baze, whose execution would have broken a de facto moratorium that was in place within the State of Kentucky since 1999.

On 16 April 2008, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in Mr. Baze's case which will allow the continued use of lethal injection as practiced by the State of Kentucky. The European Union notes with disappointment the United State Supreme Court's decision in this case and renews its call on Governor Fletcher to commute the sentence of Mr. Baze. 

The EU reiterates its longstanding position against the death penalty in all circumstances and accordingly strives to achieve its universal abolition, seeking a global moratorium on the death penalty as the first step.  We believe that the elimination of the death penalty is fundamental to the protection of human dignity, and to the progressive development of human rights.

The EU recalls that on 18 December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on a Moratorium on the use of the death penalty, which explicitly calls upon all States that still maintain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty

The EU recalls that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the application of capital punishment represents an irreparable and irreversible loss of human life. No legal system is immune from mistakes and there is no reliable evidence that the death penalty provides added value in terms of deterrence.

In light of this US Supreme Court decision, we strongly encourage the continuation of the de facto moratorium in place within the United States allowing the ongoing debate on the complex issues involved to be thoroughly deliberated.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Azerbaijan align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 25.04.2008