26 July 2013

Portugal condemns Texas's 500th execution

On June 26, Texas executed its 500th death row prisoner since a 1976 Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the death penalty as an option in this country.

Texas is the execution capital of the U.S. And the U.S. is one of only two industrialized democracies (the other being Japan) which still have the death penalty. The rest of the world is becoming much more civilized.

Especially Portugal, where the last execution took place in 1846.

Last week, the Portuguese government stood up for human rights and issued the following statement on its website condemning Texas's 500th execution:

Portugal strongly regrets the execution of Kimberley McCarthy on 26th June in Texas, USA. This brings the number of persons executed in Texas to 500 since capital punishment was re-established in the State in 1982.

While recognizing the seriousness of the crimes perpetrated and extending our deepest sympathy to the families of the victim, Portugal opposes the capital punishment in all cases and without exception. Capital punishment represents an irreversible loss of human life and there are numerous studies that demonstrate that it has no deterrent effect.

Portugal calls on the State of Texas to reflect on the continued use of the capital punishment and to reconsider this policy in light of the worldwide trend towards abolition, as was the recent case of the State of Maryland which repealed capital punishment in March this year.

I applaud the Portuguese government for openly condemning this barbaric practice.

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