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Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the execution of Richard Masterson in Texas

21.01.2016 - Press release

The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Christoph Strässer, issued the following statement on 21 January 2016 on the execution of US citizen Richard Masterson in the State of Texas on 20 January:

I am deeply shocked by the execution of Richard Masterson. To the last, several pharmaceutical companies had for good reason refused to make chemicals for lethal injections available to the State of Texas and other states in the US which continue to impose the death penalty. Regrettably, the State of Texas obviously now has enough chemicals to continue this inhumane practice. Richard Masterson is the first victim of the death penalty in Texas in 2016.

I am saddened that even Pope Francis’ appeal for clemency and his plea for the abolishment of the death penalty failed to bring about a change in thinking.

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

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