July-August-September 2014 Newsletter, N.16
International Commission Against the Death Penalty

UN Meeting "Moving away from the Death Penalty: National Leadership"

On 25 September, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights held a high-level event during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on the role of political leadership as States take steps to move away from the death penalty.

Keynote speakers of the panel included Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, the new High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President Tsachiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia, President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki of the Republic of Tunisia, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy and a representative of the President Thomas Boni Yayi of the Republic of Benin. ICDP Commissioner Bill Richardson participated in meeting on behalf of ICDP.

During the event, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid launched a publication by his office Moving Away from the Death Penalty, Arguments, Trends and Perspectives which featured an article by ICDP President Federico Mayor titled Leadership and the abolition of the death penalty.
Please read our full statement and click here for the OHCHR publication.

July 2014, another "botched" execution in US

On 23 July 2014, Joseph Wood, 55, was executed by authorities in the US state of Arizona. The execution, by lethal injection, lasted 117 minutes causing prolonged pain and cruelty to Mr Joseph Wood.

In the past few months, two other “botched” executions were reported in the US: in January in Ohio, Dennis McGuire was executed after 25 minutes and in April in Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett’s execution was completed after 43 minutes.

Please read our statement for further information.

Singapore resumes executions in July

On 18 July 2014, the Central Narcotics Bureau announced the executions of two men, Tang Hai Liang, 36, and Foong Chee Peng, 48. The last executions in Singapore were reportedly carried out in 2011.

To read our full statement, please click here.

US District Court Judge declares California’s death penalty system unconstitutional

On the 16 July, United States (US) District Court for the Central District of California Judge Cormac J. Carney passed a historic ruling declaring California’s death penalty system unconstitutional.

Judge Carney ruled that California's death penalty system violates the Eight Amendment of the US Constitution prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, and that individuals facing death penalty in California "will have languished for so long on Death Row that their execution will serve no retributive or deterrent purpose and will be arbitrary."

Please click here to read our statement.

Video Testimony at European Parliament by ICDP President Mr Federico Mayor

On 24 September, a video testimony of ICDP President Mr Federico Mayor was screened at a hearing on the death penalty held by the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament. The testimony was accompanied by a presentation of ICDP activities by the Secretary-General Ms Asunta Vivo Cavaller. Please, click here to watch the video.


Upcoming Event

On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, the EU Delegation and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN in Geneva will organise an event on 9 October 2014 entitled "Justice that kills – the death penalty in the 21st century".

ICDP Commissioner Ms Hanne Sophie Greve will participate as a panelist. Other speakers include: Sir Nigel Rodley, Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Committee, Mr Gil Garcetti, former District Attorney of LA County and Dr Mai Sato, Centre for Criminology of University of Oxford. Mr Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights will give the keynote address.

Click on the invitation for more details.
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