On the Execution of Manuel Vasquez: Statement to the PC

Last night, on March 11, 2015, the State of Texas executed Manuel Vasquez for the 1998 murder of 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra in San Antonio, Texas.

The United States respects the concerns of our friends around this table. We recall that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 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.

We recognize that there is intense public discussion and debate on the issue of the death penalty both within and among nations. That debate continues this week at the OSCE. Last October at HDIM the United States noted that President Obama called for a study of the application of the death penalty in the United States. At HDIM we offered to conduct an informal briefing on the results of this study when they are made public. It remains our intent to do so.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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