Sunday

18th Nov 2018

EU urges Texas to halt executions

The European Union has strongly criticised death penalties carried out in Texas, calling on its authorities to halt the 400th execution in the US state.

In a statement released on Tuesday (21 August), the Portuguese EU presidency said the bloc viewed with "great regret" the upcoming executions and urged Texas Governor Rick Perry to halt them and consider a moratorium on the death penalty.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We believe that elimination of the death penalty is fundamental to the protection of human dignity, and to the progressive development of human rights. We further consider this punishment to be cruel and inhumane," Lisbon stated on behalf of the EU.

"There is no evidence to suggest that the use of the death penalty serves as a deterrent against violent crime and the irreversibility of the punishment means that miscarriages of justice - which are inevitable in all legal systems – cannot be redressed."

On Wednesday the 400 mark since capital punishment was reintroduced in Texas in 1976 is due to be reached with the execution of 32-year old Johnny Ray Conner for killing a grocery store clerk in 1998.

Commenting on the EU's appeal to call off his death sentence, Governor Perry replied that it would be a "just and appropriate" punishment for the murderer.

"Texans long ago decided the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens," his spokesman told the BBC.

"Two hundred and thirty years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination," he pointed out, adding "While we respect our friends in Europe, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas."

Texas has carried out about a third of around 1,100 executions that have taken place in the US since the country's Supreme Court lifted a ban on death penalty in 1976, according to the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center.

EU initiatives against death penalty

For its part, the EU has abolished capital punishment throughout its 27 member states.

The same principle is also applied across the wider Council of Europe organisation which links together 47 countries across the European continent.

In February, the EU's legislature adopted a resolution calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty, with several member states - particularly Italy - lobbying for the same initiative through the United Nations General Assembly.

The death penalty is currently legal in 68 countries, although 30 of them have not used it for at least ten years.

EU and China perform tricky diplomatic dance

EU and China relations kicked off 15 years ago after signing a strategic partnership. Trade has increased dramatically but human rights and other issues remain tricky as the two seek to defend international law and international trade.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Opinion

Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?

Few people commented on one key point in Macron's statement: he did not justify the idea of a European army by the need to intervene in Africa, which would have been France's traditional approach. Instead, he invoked the Russian threat,

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us