Wednesday, May 14, 2008

EU Condemns US Resumption of Executions

EU Condemns US Resumption of Executions

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Brussels - The European Union on Wednesday condemned the resumption of judicial executions in the United States and said abolishing capital punishment was fundamental to protecting human dignity and furthering human rights.

The U.S. state of Georgia executed convicted murderer William Earl Lynd on May 6, the first person to be put to death in the United States since the Supreme Court ended a de facto moratorium on capital punishment last month.

EU president Slovenia said it had unsuccessfully appealed for the United States to stop Lynd's execution. He was convicted of shooting his girlfriend to death in December 1988.

The death penalty does not exist in member states of the 27-nation EU, and no new country can join up without scrapping it. Some European parliamentarians have asked the EU presidency to push harder for its abolition elsewhere.

Expressing regret at Lynd's execution, a presidency statement said: "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."

"Any miscarriage or failure of justice in the application of the death penalty represents an irreparable and irreversible loss of human life," it said.

The moratorium, which had been in effect since shortly after September 25, ended on April 16 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided the use of lethal injection for capital punishment was permitted by the Constitution.

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