On Recent Executions in the United States | 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 Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino, Switzerland and Norway for raising their concerns.

As they noted, on July 15, the State of Georgia executed John Wayne Conner for the 1982 murder of J.T. White. On October 5, the State of Texas executed Barney Fuller for the 2003 murder of Nathan and Annette Copeland.  On October 19, the State of Georgia executed Gregory Lawler for the 1997 murder of John Richard Sowa. On November 16, the State of Georgia executed Steven Spears for the 2001 murder of Sherri Holland. On December 6, the State of Georgia executed William Sallie for the 1990 murder of John Moore. On December 8, the State of Alabama executed Ronald Smith for the 1994 murder of Casey Wilson.

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