Thursday, 23 August 2007

Execution of Johnny Ray Conner in Texas a ‘macabre milestone’,

Press release - 550(2007)

Execution of Johnny Ray Conner in Texas a ‘macabre milestone’, says
PACE President

Strasbourg, 23.08.2007 – René van der Linden, President of the
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), and as such
representing a 47-nation “death-penalty-free zone” in Europe,
strongly condemned today’s execution of Johnny Ray Conner in Texas.

“This 400th execution since Texas resumed the death penalty in 1982,
after an 18-year moratorium, is a macabre milestone in the state’s
history,” Mr van der Linden said.

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s reply to the EU appeal to halt executions
and consider a moratorium on the death penalty was unacceptable, he
said. “The death penalty is not, as Governor Perry put it, ‘a just
and appropriate punishment’. Death is not justice and never will be.”

“Despite the potential unpopularity of the measure, capital
punishment must be totally removed in all countries which strive to
uphold democracy, the rule of law and human rights”, he added.

Mr van der Linden finally recalled that, as a country with observer
status in the Council of Europe, the United States is violating the
commitment of all observers to share the Council’s basic values.

Note to editors

The Assembly President will participate, on 9 October in Lisbon
(Portugal), in an international conference marking the establishment
of an annual European Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October.
The conference is jointly organised by the Council of Europe, the
European Union and its Portuguese Presidency.

Parliamentary Assembly Communication Unit
Tel: +33 3 88 41 31 93
Fax : +33 3 90 21 41 34

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