Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

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

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

Rich states finally kill vaccine-waiver proposal at WTO

The World Trade Organization reached a deal on patents for Covid-19 vaccines, after a deadlock of nearly two years — since India and South Africa submitted a joint proposal to waive intellectual property rights of vaccines worldwide.

Column

One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  2. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  3. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023
  4. Climate groups: G7 leaders 'backsliding' on climate
  5. Ukraine diplomat urges German MEPs to reject EU taxonomy
  6. EU asylum requests were climbing before Ukraine war
  7. Public sector journalists protest Macron tax plan
  8. EU engine ban splits Germany's coalition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  2. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  3. The euro — who's next?
  4. One rubicon after another
  5. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says
  6. G7 leaders want price cap on Russian oil
  7. Western public has 'moral' duty to Ukraine, Nato chief says
  8. Kiwis are my slavery — the hellish life of a Sikh labourer in Italy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us