European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton has expressed deep regret at the execution of a US citizen who has significant intellectual disabilities, and called for a global moratorium on capital punishment.
The US state of Texas on Tuesday executed Marvin Lee Wilson, a man who has significant intellectual disabilities, ignoring calls by human rights organizations.
The 54-year-old African American, who was sentenced to death for the abduction and murder of a police drug informant in 1992, was killed by a lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital injected into his veins by prison authorities.
A statement issued by the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton on Wednesday said "The High Representative recognizes the serious nature of the crime involved and expresses her sincere sympathy to the surviving family and friends of the victim. However, she does not believe that their loss has been mitigated by Wilson's death."
Ashton said "The EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances," and called for "a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition.
"With capital punishment any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, represents an irreversible loss of human life,'' she added.
After exhausting appeals in the Texas court system, Wilson's attorneys had applied to the U.S. Supreme Court to delay the execution and review the case under precedence. But the US top court refused to stay the execution, ruling less than two hours before his lethal injection was scheduled.
During the appeals process, a clinical neuropsychologist had concluded that he has "mental retardation."
Tests revealed that Wilson has an IQ of 61, which is well under the legal standard and diagnostic range of 70 considered in Atkins.
Human rights watchdogs - The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International - had appealed to Texan authorities to halt Wilson's execution.
Wilson was the second mentally disabled death row prisoner to be executed by the state of Texas in less than three weeks. On July 19, Yokamon Hearn was subjected to capital punishment, the first Texas prisoner to be executed utilizing the new one-drug protocol.
This was the seventh execution in Texas this year, where judicial killing resumed 30 years ago.
Nationwide, 1,302 people have been executed in the United States since death penalty was reinstated in 1977, including 25 this year. Since resuming executions in December 1982, Texas accounts for 484, or more than a third, of the total.
by RTT Staff Writer
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