U.N. Special Investigator Report: U.S. Death Penalty Leads to Miscarriage of Justice

U.N. Special Investigator Philip Alston has submitted a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva criticizing the application of the death penalty in the U.S. Alston calls for the U.S. to enact more stringent safeguards to protect the innocent, saying the current application sometimes leads to miscarriages of justice. “It is widely acknowledged that innocent people have most likely been executed in the U.S,” Alston said. “Yet, in Alabama and Texas, the 2 States that I visited, I found a shocking lack of urgency about the need to reform criminal-justice system flaws.” Alston’s report encourages the U.S. Congress to enact legislation authorizing a review of state and federal death penalty cases. The full report may be found here.

(L., Schlein “UN Investigator Says US Death Penalty Leads to Miscarriage of Justice,” Voice of America News, June 3, 2009). See Studies, International, and Innocence.