INTERNATIONAL: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Calls for Hold on Executions

On August 3, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes the U.S., called for a moratorium on executions in the region and released a report reviewing key areas of concern about the death penalty. The report made a series of recommendations for member States, including:
- States should refrain from any measure that would expand the application of the death penalty or reintroduce it,
- States should take any measures necessary to ensure compliance with the strictest standards of due process in capital cases,
- States should adopt any steps required to ensure that domestic legal standards conform to the heightened level of review applicable in death penalty cases, and
- States should ensure full compliance with decisions of the Inter-American Commission and Court, and specifically with decisions concerning individual death penalty cases and precautionary and provisional measures.

With respect to the U.S., the IACHR report cites the failure of the U.S. to provide some foreign nationals facing the death penalty with their rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and raised concerns about racial bias in some cases.

IACHR seeks to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the Organization of American States.

(Press Release, "IACHR Calls on a Moratorium in the Application of the Death Penalty," August 3, 2012 (contains link to the IACHR Report, THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE INTER‐AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM: FROM RESTRICTIONS TO ABOLITION).  See International.  Listen to our podcast on the International context of the American death penalty.