Friday, November 14, 2003

As the US supreme court decides jurors must make the determination in death penalty cases, state governments grapple with decisions on the practice of capital punishment and deathrow inmates are released after postconviction DNA testing, who would have thought that Turkey would be first to abolish the death penalty. In Baku Today:
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly President Peter Schieder and the Secretary General of the Organisation, Walter Schwimmer, today welcomed Turkey's formal deposition of the ratification instruments for Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights, abolishing the death penalty in peacetime, as a milestone on Europe's path towards a death penalty-free continent.
"This is a step of huge political significance, confirming the historic decision taken by the Turkish parliament earlier this year to abolish the death penalty. It is a logical follow-up to a series of important legal changes that have brought several key aspects of Turkish legislation into line with Council of Europe standards. I am confident that these *will have an impact on Turkey's EU accession chances," Peter Schieder said.

"We're all the more pleased with this momentous decision as Turkey joined the Organisation at a time when the formal abolition of the death penalty was not yet a sine qua non condition for membership (1). It brings Europe closer to total abolition of the death penalty, which is one of our Organisation's priorities," said Walter Schwimmer.
*Yeah, there is that.


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