[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----USA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Dec 10 17:43:30 CST 2004
ACLU REPORT----How the Death Penalty Weakens U.S. International Interests
Table of Contents
II. The Death Penalty in the International Arena
A. International Efforts to Abolish the Death Penalty
B. International Efforts to Limit the Death Penalty
C. Foreign Officials Raise the Issue with the U.S
D. Interventions by Foreign Governments
E. Extradition Cases Involving the Death Penalty
F. Challenges by International Tribunal Hearing
G. Human Rights Inquiries and Other Reports
III. Effects on the International Image of the United States
A. International Press Coverage
B. International Cooperation in the "War on Terror"
HOW THE DEATH PENALTY WEAKENS U.S. INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS
It is in all candor that we say to you that maintaining the death penalty
in your country profoundly affects the friendship which we feel for you.
If Americans must understand that the death penalty is intolerable, it is
up to you, as responsible politicians, to help them understand that. You
are the representatives of a country that certain people consider the
greatest democracy in the world.
But you will never be elected in a model democracy as long as the death
penalty exists there.
--Letter to Members of the United States Congress from Members of the
French National Assembly, July 2000.
In the face of a clear world trend toward abolition of capital punishment,
executions in the United States continue unabated. Europeans and other
allies find such U.S. practices as the execution of juvenile offenders,
the mentally ill, and the mentally retarded to be particularly repugnant.
International human rights inquiries and other studies regularly describe
problems with the United States death penalty system, including wrongful
convictions of innocent people, inadequate legal representation for
defendants, and racial and economic disparities in its application. Many
allies consider such practices to be unfit for a great democracy seeking
to assert leadership on human rights and other international policy
The United States refusal to take any significant steps in response to
international concerns regarding the death penalty is harming its
relations with important allies and costing the United States prestige and
leadership on human rights and other issues. This is happening at a time
when, as President Bush recognizes, the United States must rely on
international cooperation. The costs to the United States in terms of its
international interests simply are not worth whatever benefits might be
had from executing 100 criminals per year rather than imprisoning them for
life. It is time for the United States to reevaluate its commitment to
this outdated and controversial practice.
II. The Death Penalty in the International Arena
The forfeiture of life is too absolute, too irreversible for one human
being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process. And I
believe that future generations, throughout the world, will come to agree.
-- Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General, accepting a petition
calling for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty, Dec. 18, 2000.
The international communitys efforts to abolish, or at least limit, the
practice of legal executions are reflected in numerous multilateral
treaties and protocols. The United States, however, generally either
refuses to sign, signs with reservations, or simply ignores such treaties,
and continues to apply the death penalty without regard for the concerns
of other nations. As a result, foreign officials increasingly have
challenged the United States on this issue.
A. International Efforts to Abolish the Death Penalty
The primary goal of most of the international community regarding the
death penalty is abolition.
Efforts to abolish the death penalty have been conducted through
multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations, and regional
organizations, such as the European Union.
These efforts have realized a great degree of success. The number of
countries that have stopped imposing the death penalty has grown to an
all-time high of 118 as of 2003. Eighty countries have abolished the death
penalty for all crimes. Fifteen countries have abolished the death penalty
for all but exceptional crimes, such as those committed during wartime.
23 countries can be considered abolitionist in practice: They retain the
death penalty in law but have not carried out any executions for 10 or
more years, and are believed to have a policy or practice of not carrying
out executions. Countries renouncing the death penalty for all crimes in
recent years include Chile, Ukraine, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Canada, the
United Kingdom, Poland, Lithuania, South Africa, Turkmenistan, and
Bulgaria. Still others have abolished the death penalty for "ordinary
crimes" and retained it for serious crimes against the state like treason
or war crimes. By ignoring international efforts to abolish the death
penalty while increasing its use, the United States places itself outside
a growing international consensus on capital punishment.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)1 is the
primary international treaty on human rights. The U.S. State Department
has called it "the most complete and authoritative articulation of
international human rights law that has emerged in the years following
World War II." While the treaty has received almost universal endorsement,
the United States ratified it only with reservations relating to the death
The Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR2 seeks the abolition of the
death penalty worldwide.
This Protocol was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989.
It has now been ratified by 53 states, and another 9 states have signed,
indicating their intention to become parties. The Second Optional Protocol
notes that the ICCPR has referred to the death penalty "in terms that
strongly suggest that abolition is desirable."
The Protocol further states the commitment of the parties to abolish it.
This Protocol provides for its total abolition, but also allows states
wishing to do so to retain the death penalty in wartime as an exception.
Parties to the Protocol include such U.S. allies as the United Kingdom,
Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain,
Sweden, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela, Monaco,
Mozambique, and Namibia. The United States has not signed the Protocol. A
resolution of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights called on all parties to
the ICCPR that have not signed the Second Optional Protocol to do so.3 The
Commission further called upon States that still impose the death penalty
to restrict the number of offenses for which it can be imposed, and to
establish a moratorium on executions with a view to completely abolishing
them. The resolution was passed with a roll call vote of 27 for, 18
against, and 7 abstentions. Among those joining the United States in
voting against the resolution were Algeria, Burundi, China, Indonesia,
Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Vietnam -
unusual allies for one of the worlds leading democracies on an important
human rights issue.
In our region, the primary human rights treaty is the American Convention
on Human Rights.4
The Organization of American States - of which the United States is a
member - has adopted a Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights
to Abolish the Death Penalty.5 The Preamble to this Protocol notes that
the tendency among American nations is in favor of abolishing the death
penalty, and seeks an international agreement to eliminate the death
penalty in the Americas.
The Protocol has subsequently been ratified by 8 states and signed by one
other. The Protocol has been ratified by Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay,
Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Brazil. The United States is
not a signatory.
The Council of Europe in 1983 adopted Protocol No. 6 to the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
(ECHR) concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty.6 This Protocol is an
agreement to abolish the death penalty in peacetime.
Every European nation except Turkey has signed the Protocol. The Protocol
has been ratified by 44 states and signed by one other.
The European Convention on Human Rights has also adopted Protocol No.13 to
the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
This Protocol calls for the total abolition of the death penalty in all
circumstances. The agreement has been ratified by 26 countries and signed
by 16 others.
The Council of Europe and the European Union have made abolition of the
death penalty a condition of membership. This has encouraged several
nations to eliminate their death penalties.
Russia, for example, promised to abolish its death penalty in order to
secure membership on the Council. Following its admission in 1996,
then-President Boris Yeltsin imposed a moratorium on executions. In 1999,
he issued a decree commuting the death sentences of all 716 convicts on
Russias Death Row, and pressured the Russian Duma to pass a law abolishing
the death penalty. Russian President Vladimir Putin also has spoken out
strongly against the death penalty, avowing that there are no plans to
lift the moratorium.7
The European Unions ban on the death penalty has also forced Turkey to
promise to abandon its once harsh death-penalty system in order to gain
admission. Other applicants for membership in the EU have recently
abolished their death penalties, among them Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia,
Bulgaria, and Poland. This reflects the clear trend in Europe towards the
elimination of capital punishment, as well as the willingness of European
institutions to pressure others to abandon the death penalty.
The most significant consequence of the United States stance on the death
penalty is its potential impact on national security. Because of its
strong opposition to the death penalty, the European Parliament has
prohibited extraditions of terrorists to the United States for trial
without a prior clear commitment from the U.S. government to waive capital
punishment as a possible sentence. The United States needs the cooperation
of other countries in order to continue to combat terrorism effectively,
but Americas insistence on capital punishment is a major obstacle. Even if
a deal for a different penalty can be worked out, the delay can be lengthy
and critical investigation slowed.
B. International Efforts to Limit the Death Penalty
In recognition that the death penalty is not likely to be abolished soon
in certain countries, much of the international communitys focus has been
on limiting its most objectionable and unfair aspects. These include:
- the execution of juvenile offenders,
- the execution of those with mental deficiencies or severe mental
- the execution of foreign nationals not informed of their rights under
the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,
- the problem of racial and economic bias; and
- the treatment of Death Row inmates between sentencing and execution.
Much attention has been focused on the U.S. record on these issues,
because of its international prominence and its commitment in other arenas
to the principles of human rights and fairness.
In 2004, a U.N. resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on
executions was co-sponsored by 76 countries. Resolution 2004/67 on the
Question of the Death Penalty, adopted by the U.N. Commission on Human
Rights, calls upon all states that still impose the death penalty to
abolish it completely and, in the meantime, to establish a moratorium on
executions. States are particularly urged not to impose the death penalty
for crimes committed by juveniles or for crimes committed by those who are
mentally ill. States which ratify the resolution also agree to observe
other agreed U.N. safeguards and restrictions on the death penalty.
Execution of Juvenile Offenders
There is nearly universal consensus in the international community that
the execution of juvenile offenders violates human rights. Article 6 of
the ICCPR states, in part, "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for
crimes committed by persons below 18 years of age and shall not be carried
out on pregnant women." The United States has signed and ratified the
Convention, but with a reservation allowing it to continue executing
11 countries formally protested the United States ICCPR reservation with
respect to juvenile offenders, stating that the reservation should not be
allowed. The U.N. Human Rights Commission - the body established to
oversee the ICCPR - voted that the United States' reservation was invalid.
The U.S. Senate responded to this vote by threatening to withhold funds
slated for U.S. participation on the Commission. The United States also
has signed, but not ratified, the American Convention on Human Rights,
which states, "capital punishment shall not be imposed upon persons who,
at the time the crime was committed, were under 18 years of age." Further,
the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child 8 specifically prohibits
the use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders. Every country in the
world except the United States and Somalia has ratified this treaty.
Clearly, the international opinion, which has been expressed through the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, is almost unanimous and will probably have an
impact on the ultimate decision by the Supreme Court in a pending juvenile
death penalty case.
Amnesty International has documented executions of juvenile offenders in
seven countries since 1990: Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,
Yemen, and the United States.9
But the United States has carried out the greatest number of juvenile
executions. In fact, the United States has executed more juvenile
offenders over the last decade than all other nations in the world
combined. This is not a positive distinction for a country seeking to
assert moral leadership on international human rights issues.
However, during the 2004 term, the Supreme Court accepted the case of
Roper v. Simmons10, revisiting its 1989 decision in Stanford v.
Kentucky11, which upheld the execution of 16-year-old offenders.
Significantly, several prisoners who were sentenced to death for crimes
committed when they were 17 have now received stays of execution pending
this decision, which is expected in early 2005.
Execution of the Mentally Retarded and Mentally Ill
The execution of those with mental retardation or severe mental illness
has raised similar concerns to those involving juvenile offenders. In
1999, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution calling on
nations "not to impose the death penalty on a person suffering from any
form of mental disorder."12 The United Nations Special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions also has called for a halt
on the imposition of the death penalty on the mentally retarded.13 The
Special Rapporteur stated that such executions were in contravention of
In 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Atkins v. Virginia14
in order to consider anew the execution of mentally retarded defendants.
The court ultimately decided that standards of decency had evolved
significantly enough to merit outlawing such actions. 18 of the 38 death
penalty states had already made such executions illegal. In light of this
emerging national consensus, theSupreme Court ruled that this practice
constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The international community had
called for such a ruling for many years. Resolutions by the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights supported this reform.
The Court also made reference to amicus curiae briefs from the European
Union and from members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, supporting such a
ban. Thus, international opinion has begun to have a stronger and more
visible impact on the U.S. Supreme Court's legal decisions regarding the
United States judicial policy on capital punishment.
Many court observers believe the same impact may be brought to bear on the
upcoming juvenile death penalty case. While U.S. law prohibits the
execution of the insane, this is a very high standard that rarely is met.
In actuality, the United States continues to execute offenders clearly
exhibiting mental illness. Because of the Supreme Court's failure to
clearly articulate a definition of mental retardation, many states
continue to allow the execution of people who likely are mentally
retarded. These executions are particularly repugnant to many in the
international community. French President Jacques Chirac criticized the
United States before the U.N. Human Rights Commission, saying, "What can
be said of the execution of minors or of persons suffering from mental
deficiencies? I call for a worldwide abolition of the death penalty, the
first step of which would be a general moratorium."15
Execution of Foreign Nationals
The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations16 (Vienna Convention) requires
officials in the United States who place foreign nationals under arrest to
inform them of their rights to confer with the consular officials of their
home country. Local law enforcement officials in the United States
generally either are ignorant of this duty or choose to disregard it. The
United States has been systematically ignoring the provisions of the
Vienna Convention by failing to inform defendants of their right to confer
with their consulates. Some of these same defendants who have not been
accorded their rights under the Convention have been sentenced to death.
As a result, the United States has alienated many allies. As of August
2004, 117 foreign nationals were under the sentence of death in the United
States. Since 1976, 21 foreign nationals have been executed in the United
States. In most cases, the prisoners received no notice of their right to
consular assistance under the Vienna Convention.
Several of our close allies that oppose the death penalty, such as Mexico
and the United Kingdom, intervene as a matter of policy in the early
stages of death penalty cases in order to prevent the execution of their
citizens. The failure by the United States to comply with its duties
regarding consular notification undermines such efforts, and leads to
Racial and Economic Bias
Three key human rights treaties ratified by the United States condemn
criminal punishments applied in an arbitrary or discriminatory way:
- The ICCPR forbids any arbitrary use of the death penalty;17
- The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment forbids torture and the infliction of severe pain
or suffering "based on discrimination of any kind";18 and
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
("Race Convention") requires parties to guarantee the rights of everyone,
without distinction as to race, equality before the law and all tribunals
Numerous international human rights inquiries and academic studies have
found clear racial bias in the application of the death penalty in the
United States. For example, a Mission to the United States from the
International Commission of Jurists concluded that "the administration of
capital punishment in the United States continues to be discriminatory and
unjust - and hence 'arbitrary'" and thus not in consonance with the ICCPR
and the Race Convention.
More recently, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found the
United States to be in violation of international law for the execution of
William Andrews in Utah.20 Mr. Andrews conviction and death sentence were
upheld by U.S. courts despite evidence of racial bias on the part of the
jury in the form of a note reading, "Hang the Niggers."
The Commissions Report advised the United States to pay compensation to
Mr. Andrews next of kin; none has been provided.
Treatment of Death Row Inmates
U.S. and international courts have considered challenges to prolonged
stays on Death Row on the basis that such stays constitute cruel and
unusual punishment or violate international treaties. The U.S. Supreme
Court has declined to hear such cases, though dissenting justices have
noted their importance, given international concerns.21
Indeed, the United States has filed a specific reservation to the Torture
Convention in order to avoid sanction under international treaties. The
reservation basically states that the Convention does not prevent any
punishment permitted by the U.S. Constitution. Many U.S. states and, for
the most part, the federal government, basically have ignored the treaties
and other international efforts to address the most troublesome aspects of
the death penalty. This determination to continue applying capital
punishment without regard for the concerns of the international community
has been particularly upsetting for U.S. allies who oppose the death
C. Foreign Officials Raise the Death Penalty Issue with the United States
Foreign authorities have stepped up their expressions of concern with
respect to increased United States use of the death penalty - pressing the
United States to end its isolation from the growing world trend against
capital punishment, and demonstrating that the United States'
international prestige and moral leadership are suffering as a result.
In 2 well-publicized recent cases, international petitions have called for
the abolition of the death penalty in the United States. In the first, a
petition signed by 500,000 people was presented to the U.S. embassy in
Paris by a group of French lawmakers and activists.22
The meeting to organize the petition drive was chaired by former French
Justice Minister Robert Badinter, and featured a videotaped statement of
support from European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine. At the
meeting, Raymond Forni, president of the French National Assembly, called
the death penalty "a stain on the largest democracy in the world." He
further stated, "The death penalty dehumanizes not just the American
society, but the whole world, because it breeds an acceptance of
In the 2nd case, a petition bearing 3.2 million signatures from 146
different countries was presented to the United Nations. Signatories
included the Dalai Lama; Abdurrahman Wahid, the Indonesian president at
that time; George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury; the writer Umberto
Eco; the film director Roberto Benigni; and Frances Alguire, the World
Methodist Council president.24 Upon receiving the petition, U.N. Secretary
General Kofi Annan agreed with the signatories, saying, "The forfeiture of
life is too absolute, too irreversible for one human being to inflict it
on another, even when backed by legal process. And I believe that future
generations, throughout the world, will come to agree."
Direct Appeals to U.S. Officials
Pleas to abolish the death penalty increasingly are being made directly to
high-level U.S. officials.
In July 2000, the French Presidency of the European Union sent a letter to
President Clinton calling for a moratorium on federal executions in the
United States. The letter, written by the French Ambassador, Francois de
lEstang, urged President Clinton not to break the de facto moratorium on
federal executions and to commute the sentence of federal death row inmate
Juan Raul Garza to life imprisonment.25 Such appeals also are often made
to U.S. diplomats abroad. In March 2001, European Union officials meeting
for the first time with Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed their
disapproval of the United States record on the death penalty. The
officials - including Chris Patten, Commissioner for External Affairs;
Anna Lindh, Swedish Foreign Minister, and Javier Solana, European high
representative for foreign and security policy - told Secretary Powell
there was "strong sentiment" in Europe on the issue.26 In a brief to the
U.S. Supreme Court, a bipartisan group of respected former diplomats
stated that important meetings with close allies regularly are consumed by
answering diplomatic demarches regarding the death penalty.27 Such
situations limit the abilities of U.S. diplomats to influence other
nations. U.S. legislators hear similar pleas regarding the death penalty.
A letter from more than 162 French deputies recently was sent to all
members of the U.S. Congress asking for abolition of the death penalty.
The French lawmakers wrote that the death penalty in the United States
"profoundly affects" the friendship felt towards the United States. They
further noted that while some people consider the United States to be the
greatest democracy in the world, members of Congress "will never be
elected in a model democracy as long as the death penalty exists" in the
Subsequently, 84 French Senators and 189 deputies signed a similar letter
appealing to governors of U.S. states that carry out the death penalty for
its abolition.28 In a letter to then-Gov. George Bush of Texas, European
Union officials appealed for an end to executions in that state, warning
of potential economic consequences to their continuation. After describing
the strong opposition in Europe to the death penalty, the letter noted the
officials concern that "the almost universal repugnance" felt in other
countries for the continued application of the death penalty in the United
States could have economic consequences.29 The officials explained that
Europe is the foremost investor in Texas, and that shareholders are
pressuring many European companies to restrict investment to states that
do not apply the death penalty. The prospect of facing economic sanctions,
similar to those imposed upon South Africa during its period of racial
apartheid, would seriously damage U.S. ability to be an effective world
leader on any human rights issue.
In September 2004, a group of international medical experts wrote an open
letter to governments around the world that are still executing child
offenders. These specialists in child and adolescent mental and physical
health and development felt strongly that youthful immaturity and
irresponsibility can lead to impetuous actions. They argued that although
children can usually tell the difference between right and wrong, they
also have diminished capacities to reason logically and control their
impulses. They concluded that, though children should face punishment for
their actions, they should not face the death penalty. The countries to
which they sent the letter were China, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, Sudan, and the United States. Other Foreign
A global conference against the death penalty was held during June 2001.
The parliamentary presidents of France, Germany, and Italy were among the
politicians who met in Paris ahead of this conference to discuss related
issues. At the conference itself, lawmakers and activists called for a
worldwide ban on the death penalty, and accused the United States of
setting the wrong example for developing countries that carry out capital
punishment. Russell Johnston, president of the Council of Europes
parliamentary assembly, said, "The fact that America continues to operate
with the death penalty is a very big drawback and handicap to everyone
else."30 During the conference, European officials directed their
criticism primarily at 2 countries: China and the United States.
At the Congress of the League of the Rights of Man in June 2000, Raymond
Forni, president of France's National Assembly, criticized the United
States continued use of the death penalty and called on the international
community to "become America's guilty conscience" and pressure it to
abolish legal executions." President Forni said, "The United States of
Americas prestigious image bears a tarnish. It is no longer slavery, it is
no longer organized racial segregation, it is the death penalty."31 The
United States record on the death penalty also has been used against it by
other nations accused of human rights violations. China, for instance,
never misses an opportunity to criticize the United States for executing
those with mental retardation. Another example is the reaction of the
Venezuelan government to a U.S. report describing illegal executions in
various Latin American countries. Venezuelan Defense Minister Jose
Vincente Rangel responded that the United States is no international
watchdog, and said, I can cite countless examples of human rights
violations in the United States, from the death penalty to the harassment
of new immigrants. 32 A third example involved U.S. efforts to prevent
Turkey from executing a Kurdish guerilla leader. Turkeys response was to
ask how the United States, a country that still uses the death penalty and
actively campaigns against terrorism, could make a case against the
execution.33 Not only does the death penalty lead to embarrassing
criticism from U.S. allies, it also erodes the nations moral authority and
ability to influence other governments on human rights issues.
D. Interventions by Foreign Governments
Foreign governments regularly object to the death penalty in the context
of individual cases. Letters from foreign officials to U.S. state
governors and others generally state a blanket opposition to the death
penalty and ask that such sentences be commuted. The letters also raise
objections to many of the specific concerns discussed above, including the
execution of juvenile offenders or the mentally retarded, as well as the
failure to accord foreign citizens their rights under international law.
On March 26, 2001, European Union officials sent a letter to Nevada Gov.
Kenny Guin asking him to commute the death sentence of Thomas Nevius. The
letter stated the European Union's opposition to the death penalty in all
cases, and noted that the execution of Mr. Nevius, who had been diagnosed
as being mentally retarded, would be in contradiction to the U.N.
Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those Facing the Death
Penalty, and recent resolutions of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.34
The letter was signed by Jan Eliasson, Ambassador of Sweden; Alex Reyn,
Ambassador of Belgium, and Gnter Burghardt, Head of the Delegation of the
Similar letters had been sent to governors of other states executing those
with mental retardation, including George Bush when he was governor of
Texas. Gov. Bush also received letters from Portuguese and French
officials objecting to the execution of Gary Graham, a juvenile offender.
The Ambassador of Portugal, writing as the representative of the
Presidency of the European Union, urged Bush to commute Graham's sentence
to life imprisonment, stating that the European Union would consider the
execution of a person under the age of 18 at the time of his crime to be
"contrary to generally accepted human rights norms."35 The Ambassador
further noted that, despite the United States' reservation to Article 6 of
the ICCPR, which prohibits the execution of minor offenders, "the EU
believes that Article 6 enshrines the minimum rules for the protection of
the right to life and the generally accepted standards in this area."
European Union officials also sent a letter to Illinois Gov. George Ryan
asking him to prevent the execution of Gregory Madej, a Polish citizen
sentenced to death without having been advised of his right to contact the
Polish Consulate under the Vienna Convention.36 The letter began by
commending Gov. Ryan for declaring a moratorium on the death penalty in
Illinois in order to study problems with its application. It then noted
that Poland (an E.U. Associate Member) was unable to assist Madej in his
case because they did not learn of his sentence until 16 years after it
was imposed. The letter concluded by appealing to the governor to commute
Madej's sentence on the basis of this treaty violation. Significantly, in
2003, shortly before leaving office, Gov. Ryan pardoned 4 death row
inmates and commuted the death sentences of every other prisoner on death
row to life in prison.
Nearly every execution in the United States draws similar letters of
protest from the European Union, and often others from E.U. Member States,
other nations, and various international organizations, including the
Catholic Church. These letters reflect the scope of the opposition to the
death penalty in the international community, and highlight the United
States increasing isolation on the issue.
E. Extradition Cases Involving the Death Penalty
The extradition of criminal suspects to the United States for trial has
provided another arena of international conflict regarding the death
penalty. Countries opposing the death penalty increasingly refuse to
extradite suspects who face possible execution in the United States. This
often is done in order to secure an assurance from U.S. prosecutors that
the death penalty will not be sought in a particular case. Such cases add
complexity, cost, and delay to U.S. criminal prosecutions, and highlight
the United States isolation on this human rights issue.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled recently that, but for "exceptional
cases," no one should be extradited from Canada to the United States or
other countries without assurances against execution.37 The courts ruling
was based on its conclusion that the death penalty is cruel and
irreversible punishment. In so ruling, the court stated, "Legal systems
have to live with the possibility of error. The unique feature of capital
punishment is that it puts beyond recall the possibility of correction."
The court noted that an extradition decision by a Canadian minister
potentially could lead to the death of an innocent individual in a foreign
jurisdiction. Based on this ruling, Canadian Justice Minister Anne
McLellan recently required formal assurances from Washington State
officials that they would not seek the death penalty before extraditing 2
Canadians on homicide charges.38
In another significant recent development, the newly drafted European
Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits the extradition of European
citizens to a country where they might face the death penalty.39
Although the Charter is not yet legally binding and individual cases are
left for member states to decide, the Charter has been agreed to by the
European Parliament, Council, and Commission, and has been cited by the
European Court as an authoritative text.
As in many countries, French law prohibits the extradition of foreigners
to countries where they would face the death penalty. In 2 recent cases,
French authorities refused to extradite criminal suspects to the United
States without assurances from prosecutors that the death penalty would
not be sought. One case involved James Kopp, wanted for the slaying of a
New York abortion doctor and for sniper attacks on 3 Canadians. Mexico
also frequently has conditioned extradition of criminal suspects on
assurances by prosecutors that the death penalty will not be sought.40
Other countries that have refused or delayed extradition of suspects
charged with murder in the United States include the United Kingdom,
Germany, Italy, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic.
F. Challenges to the U.S. Death Penalty by International Tribunal Hearings
Several foreign nations have challenged the United States in international
tribunals on the death penalty. These cases generally involve the United
States failure to afford foreign citizens their rights under the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations. Since the reinstatement of the death
penalty in the United States in 1972, there have been dozens of foreign
nationals either executed or on death row who were not informed of their
3 cases have been brought under the International Court of Justice in
recent years, which ask the court to address issues related to the death
penalty and international intervention. The ICJ is the principal judicial
organ of the United Nations, operating under an international statute that
is an integral part of the Charter of the United Nations.
The United States has been involved in cases before the ICJ against Libya
(regarding the bombing of the Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland), and
against Iran (with respect to oil platforms).
Other high-profile cases before the ICJ involve genocidal crimes committed
in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Croatia. In March 2004, the International
Court of Justice handed down a decision in the case of Mexico v. USA,
directly addressing the legal and civil rights of Mexicans who had been
detained in the United States and later sentenced to death.41 Mexico
wanted to obtain consular access under the Vienna Convention for its
citizens caught up in the U.S. legal system.
The ICJ ruled that the United States did violate Article 36 of the Vienna
Convention. This article states that authorities must notify all detained
foreign nationals of their right to have their consulate informed of their
detention. In this ruling, the ICJ found that the United States had
violated this provision in 51 of 52 cases of Mexican nationals. The ICJ
then ruled that the United States must provide effective judicial review
and reconsideration of the impact of the violations on these cases where
foreign nationals are directly implicated. Timely assistance from the
Mexican consulate could have prevented the imposition of death in more
than just 1 case - either by persuading the prosecutor not to seek a death
sentence or by assisting the defense at trial. In another recent case, the
German government challenged the execution in Arizona of two German
brothers: Karl and Walter LaGrand. The two were sentenced to death in
1982, but German authorities did not learn of this until 10 years later.
The German government therefore was unable to assist its citizens through
the sentencing phase of the trial. The ICJ initially ordered that the
United States should "take all measures necessary" to ensure that Walter
LaGrand would not be executed pending the ICJs final decision.42 Based on
this order, Germany petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of
execution for Walter LaGrand. The appeal was dismissed. Arizona Gov. Jane
Hull subsequently allowed the execution to proceed, ignoring both the ICJs
order and the recommendation of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency
for a 60-day reprieve. In November 2000, the ICJ heard arguments on
Germanys amended application for legal sanction. The chief U.S. agent to
the court admitted that Arizona authorities violated the Vienna Convention
and noted that the United States and the Arizona Attorney General have
apologized for the violation, but maintained that the ICJ has no
jurisdiction to order further sanctions.
On June 27, 2001, the ICJ ruled that the U.S. breached several
international obligations to Germany and the LaGrand brothers.43
Germany eventually prevailed in an ICJ ruling which held that the United
States was in direct violation of the Vienna Convention treaty.
A 1nd ICJ case involved the execution in Virginia of Paraguayan citizen
Angel Breard. Like the LaGrands, Breard was not informed of his consular
rights when arrested for murder. Breard refused a plea offer and instead
admitted his involvement in the crime and testified that he was compelled
by a satanic curse.44 While such a defense may have won him leniency in
Paraguay, in the United States it led to a death sentence. Advice from his
consulate may have made a difference.
The ICJ, as in the German case, ordered the United States to "take all
measures at its disposal" to ensure that Breard would not be executed
pending the courts final decision.45 Although U.S. Secretary of State
Madeline Albright asked the State of Virginia to comply with the ICJs
Order, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore rejected the request and denied
clemency.46 The U.S. Supreme Court also rejected the ICJ Order on the
basis that Breard had not raised his Vienna Convention claim in a timely
manner.47 The case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Breard was
executed on April 14, 1998, amid international protest.
These international tribunal proceedings challenging United States treaty
violations represent examples of direct clashes between the United States
and foreign governments regarding the death penalty's implementation. Not
only do these cases weaken the United States' ability to protect its
citizens traveling abroad, they also erode the comity that other nations
will be willing to show the United States on broader issues. Moreover, the
United States refusal to comply with orders from international tribunals
undermines their authority in other cases in which the United States
relies upon them.
G. Human Rights Inquiries and Reports
The international community regularly challenges the United States by
issuing reports, which catalog the death penaltys problems and call for
its abolition. Ironically, the United States relies on similar reports,
from both the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, in
seeking to advance other human rights causes. By itself appearing as a
prominent subject of these reports, the United States weakens its ability
to influence nations in other areas.
The United Nations
The report for 2000 from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions48 included several critical
references to the United States. Regarding "Violations of the Rights of
Women," the Special Rapporteur noted that the United States received an
urgent appeal in the Texas case of Betty Lou Beets.49 The Special
Rapporteur wrote to the Government of the United States referring to
reports that in her trial, crucial mitigating evidence regarding her
history of severe physical, sexual, and emotional abuse was never
presented to the jury. Nevertheless, Ms. Beetss execution proceeded.
The report also criticized the execution of juvenile offenders in the
United States, noting that Pakistan has abolished the death penalty for
children and that Yemen is in the process of doing so, but that the United
States has no such plans. The report further mentioned the United States
as the only country cited for executions of those with mental illness or
The Special Rapporteur urged that such executions be stopped.50 Finally,
the report discussed problems with fair trials in the United States and
with executions of foreigners not accorded their rights, amid growing
international consensus on the abolition of the death penalty. Such
criticisms are not rare in the Special Rapporteurs annual reports.
The reports from each recent year contain similar discussions of U.S.
violations of international conventions and U.N. appeals to halt such
In 1997, the Special Rapporteur reported on a Special Mission to the
United States.51 The visit was made on the basis of persistent reports to
the United Nations of violations of international treaties and of
discriminatory and arbitrary use of the death penalty. The Special
Rapporteur visited federal, state, and local authorities, prison
officials, and human rights organizations to investigate, and in his
report presented a series of criticisms of the U.S. death penalty, as well
as calls for reforms.
Since the Special Rapporteurs mission to the United States in 1997, only
Nepal has received a similar visit. Nepal is one of the poorest countries
in the world. It is a developing and still fragile democracy with a long
history of struggle against totalitarian and autocratic rule. Many of the
Special Rapporteurs concerns related to the Nepalese governments efforts
to combat armed Maoist insurgents.52 The United States, of course, does
not face similar problems. As the worlds wealthiest democracy, the United
States should not require the same form of international human rights
monitoring as such a troubled nation.
2 recent developments involving U.S. participation in multinational human
rights organizations further highlight the difficulties caused by the
death penalty. First, the United States was voted off the U.N. Human
Rights Commission - the first nation to be removed since its formation in
1997. The continued use of the death penalty clearly was one of several
factors behind this development. Second, the Council of Europes
parliamentary session has passed a resolution threatening to strip the
United States of its human rights observer status unless "significant
progress" is made towards the elimination of the death penalty.53 This
loss of observer status would be an embarrassing mark against the United
States international image.
The U.S. State Department frequently cites Amnesty International reports
on such issues as prisoners of conscience, political prisoners, torture
and other cruel treatment of prisoners, extrajudicial executions and
"disappearances." Amnesty International in turn regularly cites the United
States in its reports criticizing the use of the death penalty as a human
In 2003, 65 prisoners were executed in the United States. The 900th
execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977 occurred in March
2004. More than 3,500 prisoners were under the death sentence in the
United States as of January 2004.
In a recent report, Amnesty International stated the following:
The USA is engaged in a cruel, brutalizing, unreliable, unnecessary and
hugely expensive activity for no measurable gain. The fact that it is
violating human rights standards in the process only adds to the shadow
being cast on its international reputation by its relentless resort to
this outdated punishment.54
Recent Amnesty International reports have addressed problems with the
death penalty in Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, and other states; executions of
foreigners, child offenders and the mentally deficient; and racial bias in
the implementation of the death penalty, among other issues. A perusal of
the titles in Amnesty Internationals Death Penalty library reveals the
company the United States keeps by persisting with executions: Iraq,
Botswana, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Lebanon, in particular.
The United States should be leading the world in pressuring such countries
to improve their human rights records, rather than appearing alongside
them on lists of human rights violators.
III. Effects on the International Image of the United States
It is important for the United States to maintain [its international
image] in the eyes of Europeans, and to protect the legitimacy of our
moral leadership. This moral leadership is under challenge because of 2
issues: the death penalty and violence in our society.
Felix G. Rohatyn, U.S.
Ambassador to France from 1997 to 2000.55
A. International Press Coverage
While the death penalty is receiving increased attention in the United
States, media coverage in Europe of U.S. executions typically is both more
extensive and more critical than domestic coverage. Executions that go
relatively unnoticed in the United States often make headlines in Europe,
drawing criticism from conservative and liberal publications alike. U.S.
executions evoke much passion in Europe, and often spark protests in front
of our embassies, as well as petitions calling for an end to executions.
One important and generally conservative publication that has been
particularly outspoken regarding the U.S. death penalty is the British
magazine, The Economist. The magazine, which is read widely by business
people in Europe, the United States, and around the world, is known for
promoting business-friendly public policies and tax reductions, and it
endorsed George W. Bush in his first presidential election. The Economist
also, however, has made clear its opposition to the death penalty in the
United States The Economist has called the United States "the most glaring
exception to the emerging international consensus on the death penalty."56
Noting that the United States defends the practice to its allies and
continues to execute juvenile offenders and the mentally retarded, the
magazine asked, "Why is the worlds richest, and arguably greatest
democracy, so out of step?"
Another opinion piece in The Economist calling for the abolition of the
death penalty in the United States noted that even the United States, with
its legal guarantees and complex system of appeals, is unable to ensure
the fair or consistent application of the death penalty.57 The Economist
concluded that the inevitable execution of innocents is too high a price
to pay for an unnecessary punishment.
These clear statements of The Economists opposition to the death penalty
are in addition to numerous news articles criticizing the execution of the
mentally retarded, flaws relating to legal representation and the
appellate process in death penalty cases, and errors in the application of
the death penalty. This is the image of the United States portrayed to
sophisticated business people worldwide by a leading and generally
conservative international publication.
Other international media outlets also provide regular and extensive
coverage of U.S. death penalty issues as well as of individual executions.
The coverage often is critical of the death penalty, and such criticism
comes from conservative as well as liberal publications. This has been an
important factor in shaping the international image of the United States.
One example is the coverage by The Sun, one of Britains most conservative
newspapers, of a recent elementary school shooting in Michigan. When a
6-year-old shot and killed a classmate, the Sun editorialized that the
most likely American response would be to build a kiddie-size electric
Because of the notoriously large number of executions in Texas, the
election of former Texas governor George W. Bush as president has inspired
even broader foreign coverage of the U.S. death penalty. One Swiss
newspaper, for example, marked President Bushs inauguration by printing
all the photographs it could find of prisoners in Texas who had been
executed on his watch. The Mirror, a popular British newspaper, printed a
six-page story on President Bush titled, "The Texas Massacre."
The article stated: "Bush makes no apology for his hideous track record.
And disturbingly, he has mass support from Americans, driven by their
out-of-control gun culture and blood lust for retribution."
As a result of the extensive media coverage of the death penalty,
Europeans image of President Bush, as well as of the United States, is
greatly affected by the death penalty. As stated by Claudia Roth, a member
of the German parliament: "What we know about the new president, is just 2
things. He is the son of President Bush, and he has sent 150 people to
their death in Texas, including the mentally ill."59
The case of Timothy McVeigh, the first federal execution in 38 years,
attracted widespread media attention, particularly following revelations
that authorities failed to give thousands of relevant documents to
McVeighs lawyers before his trial. A Time columnist stated that
development "added a baffling and embarrassing new example to the dozens
of instances of judicial error, mendacious testimony, incompetent defense
lawyers and sloppy lab work that have demonstrably sent innocent people to
their deaths in recent years."60
This episode, together with the viewing of the execution by 2 dozen live
witnesses and another 300 over closed-circuit television, led to intense
public scrutiny of the case, both in the United States and abroad. Press
coverage in Europe and other regions was both extensive and derogatory
towards the United States. The Council of Europe labeled the execution
"sad, pathetic and wrong." Amnesty International called it, "a failure of
human rights leadership at the highest level of government in the United
Even before the attention generated by the McVeigh case, the death penalty
affected the international interests of the United States.
Felix Rohatyn, former U.S. ambassador to France, wrote in the Washington
Post about the challenge to Americas moral leadership in Europe over the
death penalty.62 He said that during his time in France, no single issue
evoked as much passion and protest. Ambassador Rohatyn noted that the U.S.
ambassador to Germany encountered challenges on the issue just as
frequently. He concluded that, "At a time when our military, economic, and
political power, our so-called 'hegemony,' is a source of concern to many
of our allies, it is important that our moral leadership be sustained."
B. International Cooperation in the "War on Terror"
International opposition to the death penalty also may be hindering U.S.
efforts against international terrorism. As former CIA official Michael
Bearden argued in the Wall Street Journal, seeking the death penalty for
terrorists could ultimately work against the process of international
teamwork that has led to several successful convictions in this area.63
Countries such as Pakistan, Kenya, and South Africa have delivered accused
terrorists to U.S. courts without formal extradition processes. Bearden
believes that seeking the death penalty in such cases could complicate or
limit such cooperation in the future.
In May 2004, the direct impact of the United States policy became clearly
visible. Muslim cleric Abu Hamza was arrested in Great Britain on a U.S.
warrant, which included allegations of 11 separate charges of terrorism
and terrorist activity. However, British law forbids the Home Secretary
from extraditing someone to a country where the death penalty applies for
the offense charged, unless there has been a written agreement not to
carry out the sentence of death should it be imposed.64 U.S. Attorney
General John Ashcroft had to come to an explicit agreement with Great
Britain not to execute Abu Hamza if Ashcroft wanted Hamza extradited to
face a trial in U.S. courts.
The problems caused by the death penalty issue, and the close attention
paid to it abroad, likely will not subside. While over 930 prisoners have
been executed in the United States since 1976, another 3,500 are currently
on death row. Meanwhile, the number of crimes for which the death penalty
is available has increased since its reinstatement by the U.S. Supreme
Court. As executions continue in the United States, so too will the damage
to its international image and moral leadership.
The United States actually executes very few prisoners. In 2003, the total
number was 64 and as of November 2004, there have been 57.65 Given that
alternative punishments are available, including life imprisonment, and
that many of those executed are juvenile offenders, 'entally deficient,
have received inadequate legal representation or may be innocent, many
would argue that there can be no benefit from such a random practice.
Whatever benefit might be claimed certainly does not outweigh the damage
done to the United States international interests. The United States
constantly is criticized in international forums as a human rights
violator. The world press depicts America as obsessed with a violent and
outdated practice that is racially biased, tantamount to torture, and
fraught with error. The United States moral leadership, and therefore its
ability to influence other nations on human rights and other issues, is
eroded. It is time for the United States to join the international
community in abolishing the death penalty, so that the United States can
become a more effective world leader on other matters of great
consequence. If abolition cannot be accomplished, the United States must
impose a moratorium on executions in order to address the most troubling
aspects of the death penalty.
Such a moratorium would communicate to our allies that the United States
is not deaf to their concerns and, as President Bush has advocated, that
we respect our allies as partners. A moratorium would prove to the world
that the United States is serious in its commitment to justice and
individual liberties, and that it is sincere in its positions on
international human rights issues.
1 International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, General Assembly
resolution 2200A (XXI) of Dec. 16, 1966.
2 Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and
Political Rights, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, General
Assembly resolution 44/128 of Dec. 15, 1989.
3 The Question of the Death Penalty, Commission on Human Rights Resolution
2001/68, April 25, 2001.
4 American Convention on Human Rights, Organization of American States
Treaty Series No. 36, July 18, 1978.
5 Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death
Penalty, Organization of American States Treaty Series No. 73, June 8,
6 Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) concerning the Abolition of the
7 Associated Press, "Putin Speaks Against Death Penalty," New York Times,
July 9, 2001.
8 Convention on the Rights of the Child, General Assembly resolution 44/25
of Dec. 12, 1989.
9 Amnesty International, "Children and the Death Penalty: Executions
Worldwide Since 1990," Dec. 14, 2000.
10 Case no. 03-633, cert. granted Jan. 26, 2004.
11 492 U.S. 361 (1989).
12 Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/91 of April 28, 1999.
13 Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary
Executions by Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye,E/CN.4/1998/Add.3 at 145.
14 528 U.S. 304 (2002).
15 Lara Marlowe, "Chirac Attacks U.S. on Death Penalty," The Irish Times,
March 31, 2001, p. 12.
16 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, U.N.T.S. Nos. 8638-8640, vol.
596, pp. 262-512, April 18, 1961 (ratified by the U.S. in 1969).
17 ICCPR Article 6(1).
18 Covenant Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, General Assembly resolution 39/46 (Dec. 17,
1984), Article 1(1).
19 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
General Assembly resolution 2106 A (XX) (Dec. 21, 1965), Article 5.
20 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report No. 57/96 (1998).
21 Elledge v. Florida, 1998 WL 440561 (U.S.xxxx) (Breyer, J., dissenting).
22 APWorldstream, Jan. 24, 2001.
23 "European Lawmakers and Activists Call on U.S. to Abolish Death
Penalty," AP Worldstream, October 21, 2000.
24 Rory Caroll, Global Petition Puts Pressure on U.S. to Abolish Death
Penalty, The Guardian (London), Dec. 19, 2000, p. 12.
25 French Presidency of the European Union Press Release, July 27, 2000.
26 Tom Harnden, "Bush Team Angry Over EU Pressure on Death Penalty," The
Daily Telegraph (London), March 8, 2001, p. 15.
27 McCarver v. North Carolina, No. 00-8727 (2000) (Brief of Amici Curiae
Diplomats Morton Abramowitz, Stephen W. Bosworth, Stuart E. Eizenstat,
John C. Kornblum, Phyllis E. Oakley, Thomas R. Pickering, Felix G.
Rohatyn, J. Stapleton Roy, and Frank G. Wisner in Support of Petitioner).
28 "European Lawmakers and Activists Call on U.S. to Abolish Death
Penalty," AP Worldstream, October 21, 2000.
29 Letter to George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, June 25, 1998.
30 "European Lawmakers Decry U.S. Use of Death Penalty," APWorldstream,
April 9, 2001.
31 "French Lawmaker Denounces United States' Use of Death Penalty,"
APWorldstream, June 10, 2000.
32 "Officials React to 'Meddling' U.S. Human Rights Report," The British
Broadcasting Corporation, March 6, 2001.
33 Raymond Bonner, "Veteran U.N. Envoys Seek End to Executions of
Retarded," New York Times (June 6, 2001).
34 Letter to Kenny Guin, Governor of Nevada, March 26, 2001.
35 Letter to George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, May 17, 2000
36 Letter to George H. Ryan, Governor of Illinois, May 1, 2001.
37 United States v. Burns, 2001 S.C.C. 7 (2001).
See also Susan Taylor Martin, "U.S. Influence on Canada Ends with Death
Penalty" St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 25, 2001, p. 2A.
38 Mark Dunn, "Canucks Face Trial Stateside; U.S. Won't Seek Death
Penalty," The Ottowa Sun, March 10, 2001.
39 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, OJ C 364/1 (Dec.
18, 2000), Article 19.
40 See Jerry Seper, "Drug Smuggler Spared Death in 98 Killing of Border
Agent; Extradition Deal with Mexico Leads to Reduced Sentence, The
Washington Times, Nov. 24, 2000 (case of Bernardo Velarde Lopez); Richard
Winton, "Suspect in Dancer's Death Extradited to Pasadena," Los Angeles
Times, Sept. 2, 2000, p. B5. (case of Johnny Andres Ortiz); "Aiding a
Fugitive; Del Toro Benefited from Flaws in Extradition Treaty with
Mexico," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, July 8, 2000 (case of Jose Luis Del Toro
41 On March 31, 2004, the Court issued its judgment on the merits. As a
preliminary matter, the Court dismissed all the jurisdictional and
admissibility challenges raised by the United States. The Court found that
the jurisdictional challenges were more appropriately addressed at the
Several admissibility challenges were also dismissed for this reason. The
remaining admissibility challenges were dismissed on various grounds. For
example, the Court found that exhaustion of local remedies within the
United States was not necessary because Mexico was requesting the Court to
rule on the violation of rights that it claims to have suffered both
directly and through the violation of individual rights conferred on
Mexican nationals. In addition, the Court held that Mexico had not waived
its right to bring the case before the ICJ, even if it had delayed in
doing so. "[O]nly a much more prolonged and consistent inaction on the
part of Mexico .. . might be interpreted as implying such a waiver." Case
Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. U.S.), Merits,
para. 44 (2004). See .
42 Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Germany v.
United States of America) No. 104, (International Court of Justice, March
3, 1999) (Order on Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures).
43 Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Germany v.
United States of America) No. 104, (International Court of Justice, June
27, 2001) (Judgment).
44 B. Masters, World Court Tells U.S. to Halt Va. Execution, Washington
Post, April 10, 1998, C1.
45 Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Paraguay
v. United States of America) No. 99, (International Court of Justice,
April 9, 1998) (Order).
46 Letter from Madeleine Albright to Victor Rodriguez, Chair of Texas
Board of Pardons, November 1998.
47 In re Angel Francisco Breard, 140 L.Ed. 537 (April 14, 1998).
48 Report of the Special Rapporteur, United Nations Commission on Human
Rights, E/CN.4/2001/9, January 11, 2001.
49 Id. 40.
50 Id. 82.
51 Report of the Special Rapporteur, United Nations Commission on Human
Rights, E/CN.4/1998/68/Add.3, January 22, 1998.
52 Report of the Special Rapporteur, United Nations Commission on Human
Rights, E/CN.4/2001/9/Add.2, August 9, 2000.
53 Rick Halperin, "U.S. May Lose Council of Europe Observer Status,"
Associated Press, June 26, 2001. 54 Amnesty International, "USA: Flouting
World Trends, Violating International Standards - 700th Execution
Imminent," AMR 51/031/2001, March 1, 2001.
55 Felix G. Rohatyn, "America's Deadly Image, Editorial, Washington Post,"
Feb. 20, 2001, p. A23.
56 "The Cruel and Ever More Unusual Punishment," The Economist, May 13,
57 "Down with the Death Penalty," Opinion, The Economist, May 13, 1999.
58 T.R. Reid, "Many Europeans See Bush as Executioner Extraordinaire,"
Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2000, p. A36.
60 Rick Halperin, "A Matter of Life or Death: The McVeigh Case Shows How
Differently Europe and America View Capital Punishment," Time.
61 Suzanne Daley, "The Reaction Abroad: Almost as One, Europe Condemns
McVeigh Execution," New York Times, June 12, 2001.
62 Felix G. Rohatyn, "Americas Deadly Image," Editorial, Washington Post,
February 20, 2001, p. A23.
63 Milt Bearden, "Death Penalty Would Hinder Anti-Terrorism," The Wall
Street Journal (June 4, 2001). Bearden is a former CIA station chief in
Pakistan and Sudan.
64 Craig Whitlock and Susan Schmidt, "Vocal cleric arrested in London at
U.S. behest," Washington Post, May 28, 2004, at A1, available at:
65 Death Penalty Information Center, available
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