Rapporteur welcomes end to executions in California

 Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC), general rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the abolition of the death penalty, has welcomed the decision by Gavin Newsom, Governor of California (United States), to sign a moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

“Governor Newsom’s decision demonstrates political courage and shows his determination to combat the death penalty, especially since California is home to a quarter of all death-row inmates in the United States. California will therefore join over 20 states in the country which have abolished the death penalty de jure or de facto,” he said.

“The death penalty is always a cruel and inhuman punishment, whatever the crime, and it should no longer be applied in democratic states that respect human rights. I call on the authorities of the United States, an observer state at the Council of Europe, to reassess at political level the possibility of doing away entirely with this sentence, in order to abolish it de jure or de facto in those states where it is still applied, or whose law still permits its use,” he added.

“Such an approach would be in line with our shared values, as spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties,” the rapporteur concluded.

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On Wednesday morning, the Governor of California announced a moratorium on executions, thereby reprieving the 737 death-row inmates in the state, the largest number in the United States.