Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (13 April):
I welcome the abolition of the death penalty in the US state of Connecticut. I appeal to the governor of Connecticut to commute the sentences of the prisoners remaining on death row. Every state in the US should follow this example. The death penalty is a violation of human dignity.
On 12 April 2012 the Senate and House of Representatives of the US state of Connecticut approved a bill abolishing the death penalty. Governor Dannel Malloy has already announced that he will sign the bill into law, making Connecticut the 17th US state to abolish the death penalty. The law, however, is not retroactive, and thus does not apply to the 11 people currently on death row.
According to NGO figures, the number of executions carried out in the US fell below 100 for the first time in 2011: 43 people were executed that year.
Four US states have abolished the death penalty in the past five years. Proposals to abolish it are pending in several other states.
Around the world, 141 countries have now removed the death penalty from the statute books or introduced a moratorium.