Swiss government speaks out against new US executions

Protesters opposed to the death penalty near the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, US Keystone / Tannen Maury

This content was published on July 17, 2020 - 13:21

Switzerland has said it regrets the United States’ decision to resume federal executions, after a second one was carried out on Thursday.

“Switzerland rejects the death penalty under all circumstances and is committed to its universal abolition,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter on Friday.

“For this reason we regret the decision of the United States to resume federal executions after a 17-year interruption.”

The US Justice Department executed convicted murderer Wesley Purkey on Thursday, the second federal execution in a week after a 17-year pause, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman said.

This followed the execution of convicted murderer Daniel Lewis Lee on July 14.

Several executions were initially delayed when a judge ruled on Monday that there were still unresolved legal challenges. The condemned men had argued that lethal injections constituted “cruel and unusual punishments”. But the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the executions could continue.

Another man who kidnapped and killed five people is set to become the third federal inmate to be executed this week, news agencies say.

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