Human Rights Commissioner Strässer: Death penalty has no place in the 21st century

29.01.2015 - Press release

The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Christoph Strässer, issued the following statement on 29 January on the execution of US citizen Warren Hill in the US state of Georgia on 27 January:

I was deeply saddened to hear of the execution of Warren Lee Hill in Jackson, Georgia. It is particularly shocking that in his case there were clear signs that he was mentally disabled. Executing persons with a mental disability or illness flies in the face of the rule of law principles accepted by nearly all countries in the world.

The death penalty is an inhumane, cruel and immoral form of punishment. It has no place in the 21st century. The Federal Government is opposed to the death penalty whatever the circumstances. It will continue to work with its partners to actively push for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty.

Background information:

In the case of Warren Lee Hill, the European Union approached the Governor of the US state of Georgia, amongst others, on multiple occasions and advocated a moratorium on the death penalty. Unfortunately its efforts were made in vain.

The United States Supreme Court has declared the execution of persons with mental disabilities unconstitutional, however it leaves the individual states to define the exact assessment criteria.

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