Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (31 July) on the announcement by the US that it is to resume capital punishment at the Federal level:
I very much regret the fact that the US intends to end the de facto moratorium on capital punishment that has been in place at the Federal level for 16 years. This decision runs counter to the worldwide trend towards the increasing abolition of the death penalty. I call on the US Government to refrain from carrying out five executions scheduled for the end of the year and to keep the de facto moratorium in place.
The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment that the Federal Government rejects in all circumstances. Together with our EU partners, we have been working intensively for many years to bring about the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.
On 25 July, the US Department of Justice announced that it would resume capital punishment at the Federal level, thereby ending the de facto moratorium that has been in place for the past 16 years. The first executions are scheduled to take place in December 2019 and January 2020.
Twenty-one of the 50 US states have now officially abolished capital punishment. Across the nation, there has been a drop in approval rates for capital punishment as well as the imposition and execution of the death penalty.