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PACE rapporteur on death penalty expresses deep regret at US federal execution of Lisa Montgomery

Vladimir Vardanyan (Armenia, EPP/CD), PACE general rapporteur on the abolition of the death penalty, has expressed his deep regret at Wednesday's execution at a federal level in the United States of Lisa Montgomery.

“Whilst I have every sympathy for all those affected by the crime, I am deeply dismayed by the execution at a federal level of the first woman in almost seven decades. It is all the more deplorable that this execution was carried out despite indications that Lisa Montgomery may possibly have suffered from mental illness,” said Mr Vardanyan.

“Ms Montgomery was the eleventh federal prisoner to be executed, following the July 2020 decision of the United States Federal Government to resume executions after a de facto 17-year moratorium. I am deeply disappointed by this decision, which goes against the growing abolitionist trend in individual states within the USA, as reflected by the lowest number of executions in 37 years in 2020.”

“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. The adoption of the 8th Resolution calling for a ‘moratorium on the use of the death penalty’ by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 2020 reflects the growing momentum towards the abolition of this sentence worldwide,” he said.

“Thus, I call on the federal authorities of the United States, as an observer State at the Council of Europe, not to proceed with any further executions. I also strongly encourage them to reassess at political level the possibility of doing away entirely with the death penalty as a sentence, in line with our shared values as spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties.”