On the execution of Christopher Brooks, James Freeman, and Brandon Jones: 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 22 the State of Alabama executed Christopher Brooks for the 1992 rape and murder of Jo Deann Campbell. The State of Texas executed James Freeman on January 27 for the murder of Justin Hurst in 2007. On February 3, the State of Georgia executed Brandon Jones for the 1979 murder of Roger Tackett.

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 Deputy Chief of Mission Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna