International Events Highlight Death Penalty Concerns

Two recent international gatherings emphasized concerns about the death penalty in the U.S. and around the world. On October 14, the Organization of American States hosted an address by the President of the International Institute of Human Rights, Jean-Paul Costa, focusing on the relatively few countries still practicing capital punishment in North and South America. On October 21, the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S. presented a panel discussion featuring DPIC’s Executive Director, Richard Dieter (r.), along with other national organizations. The event was cosponsored by the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Panel members described the sharp decline in the use of the death penalty in the U.S. and future prospects for further change through legislation and court opinions. Among the issues discussed were the quality of representation in capital cases, changes in public opinion, and the effects of the EU’s restrictions on drugs for lethal injections in the U.S.

(“OAS Lecture Series Examines Universal Abolition of the Death Penalty,” Bahamas Weekly, October 16, 2014; EU Rendez-Vous on the Death Penalty, Oct. 21, 2014). See International. See also DPIC’s Twitter feed on the EU event. Pictured, left to right, Misty Thomas of the American Bar Association, Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Sarah Turberville of the Constitution Project, and Richard Dieter of DPIC.