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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Texas governor rejects EU request to end use of death penalty
Mike Rosen-Molina at 1:58 PM ET

[JURIST] Texas Gov. Rick Perry [official website] Wednesday rejected a call by the European Union to halt all executions in the state [EU statement; JURIST report]. In a statement [text], a spokesman for the governor said:

230 years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination. Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens. While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.
In its own statement earlier this week, the European Union urged Texas to put a moratorium on capital punishment [JURIST news archive], describing it as "cruel and inhumane" and arguing that there was no evidence that it deterred violent crime.

The EU's plea came ahead of Texas's planned execution of Johnny Ray Conner [CCADP profile] on Wednesday, which will bring Texas state executions to a total of 400 since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Collectively, the US has executed more than 1,000 people since then, with Texas leading the nation in total numbers. Nearly 400 prisoners are currently on death row in Texas [TDCJ materials]. AFP has more.

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