On the executions of Oscar Ray Bolin Jr. and Richard Masterson: Statement to the PC

Sign over the entrance to the Hofburg Congress Center, the location of many OSCE meetings, in Vienna, Austria. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino and Switzerland for raising their concerns.  As they noted, on January 7, the State of Florida executed Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr. for murdering three young women – Teri Lynn Matthews, Natalie Blanche Holley, and Stephanie Collins – in separate incidents in 1986. On January 20, the State of Texas executed Richard Masterson for the murder of Darin Shane Honeycutt in 2001.

The United States recognizes the debate on the death penalty both within and among nations. We respect the views of our friends around this table. We remind colleagues that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States is a party, provides for imposition of the death penalty for the most serious crimes when carried out pursuant to a final judgment rendered by a competent court, and accompanied by appropriate procedural safeguards and the observance of due process. This includes the right to seek pardon or commutation of sentence in all cases.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna