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Rapporteur calls on Florida to stay the execution of John Errol Ferguson

Strasbourg, 02.08.2013 – Marina Schuster (Germany, ALDE), rapporteur on abolition of the death penalty for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has called on the State of Flordia to stay the execution of John Errol Ferguson and to review his case.

“Executing people suffering from mental illness constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. It has been reported that John Errol Ferguson has a history of severe mental illness and no understanding of why he is being executed,” said Mrs Schuster.

“In the United States, the death penalty is still imposed on the mentally ill and disabled, as well as the intellectually disabled, despite the constitutional prohibition on that practice. This is a clear perversion of justice.”

“The Council of Europe considers that abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights. The Council’s mission is embraced by an ever-growing coalition — from human rights defenders, civil rights organisations and faith leaders to law enforcement officials, political representatives and families of murder victims.”

“Florida, too, should feel encouraged to join the majority of states around the globe that have been rejecting capital punishment for good and powerful reasons.”