Rapport 2013
La situation des droits humains dans le monde

26 juin 2013

USA: Texas must halt 'shameful' 500th execution

USA: Texas must halt 'shameful' 500th execution
499 people have been put to death in Texas since 1976.

499 people have been put to death in Texas since 1976.

© CHANTAL VALERY/AFP/Getty Images


See video

Click to enlarge

© Amnesty International


Capital punishment in Texas has been arbitrary, biased and prone to error. It is a profound and irreversible injustice. The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and degrading, and a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Source: 
Brian Evans, director of Amnesty International USA’s campaign to abolish the death penalty.

Amnesty International is calling on the US state of Texas to halt its 500th execution since the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States of America in 1976. In what it describes as a “shameful milestone”, Kimberly McCarthy, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection in Huntsville at 6pm local time barring a stay of her execution.

The 52-year-old African American woman was sentenced to death in 2002 for murder.

“Capital punishment in Texas has been arbitrary, biased and prone to error,” said Brian Evans, director of Amnesty International USA’s campaign to abolish the death penalty.

“It is a profound and irreversible injustice. The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and degrading, and a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he said.

The list of the 499 people put to death in Texas since 1976 includes prisoners suffering from severe mental illness or intellectual disability, teenage offenders and defendants who had been provided with woefully inadequate counsel when on trial for their lives. In several cases, executions went ahead despite convictions based on flawed or questionable evidence.

The lone star state of Texas has the deadly distinction of topping the US execution table, having carried out nearly 400 more executions than the second-highest offender, Virginia, with 110 since 1976. Although the number of executions in Texas is falling year on year, Brian Evans points to worrying trends.

“Amnesty International recognizes that attitudes may be shifting in Texas, as jury-issued death sentences in recent years have been at historic lows. However, among other things, there is reason to be concerned about the continuing influence of race in capital justice.”

Seven of the nine people sentenced to death in Texas in 2012 and six of the seven executions this year have been African Americans.

While only 12.2 per cent of the population of Texas is black, African American inmates make up nearly 40 per cent of the 283 inmates currently on death row in the state. In Harris County, African Americans account for more than 70 per cent of death row inmates, and less than 20 percent of the general population.

In 1997 Duane Buck was sentenced to death after a Harris County jury heard “expert” evidence that Buck was likely to pose a future danger of violent behaviour because of the colour of his skin.

“This alarming suggestion illustrates just one aspect of the acute injustice in the Texas capital punishment system. After more than 30 years and 499 executions, it is time for Texas to break old habits and join the trend towards abolition,” said Brian Evans.

According to Amnesty International’s most recent yearly report on the use of the death penalty worldwide, the overall the worldwide trend is away from the use of the death penalty. Five US States have legislated to abolish the death penalty in the past six years – New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009), Illinois (2010), Connecticut (2012), and just last month, Maryland.

Campagnes

En finir avec la peine de mort 

Thème

Peine de mort 

Pays

États-Unis 

Région ou pays

Amériques 

@amnestyonline sur Twitter

Nouvelles

15 janvier 2015

Dans un rapport rendu public jeudi 15 janvier, Amnesty International appelle les autorités de transition du Burkina Faso à ouvrir une enquête sur l’utilisation d’une force... Pour en savoir plus »

12 janvier 2015

Un nouveau rapport d’Amnesty International décrit le manque tragique de progrès réalisés dans la reconstruction du pays depuis le tremblement de terre de 2010, il y a cinq ans... Pour en savoir plus »

26 janvier 2015

Dans un lieu de détention secret de la province de Laguna, située au sud de la capitale Manille, la Commission a découvert une roue multicolore, inspirée de la Roue de la... Pour en savoir plus »

16 janvier 2015

Au moins 69 arrestations se sont succédé en France cette semaine, les prévenus comparaissant pour « apologie du terrorisme », infraction dont la définition reste vague. Le... Pour en savoir plus »

12 décembre 2014

L’avocat Mohammed al Roken a été condamné à 10 ans d’emprisonnement en juillet 2013 à la suite d’une vague de répression contre les militants politiques et les... Pour en savoir plus »