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US votes “No” on UN death penalty moratorium

death penalty cut noose

itakdalee | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 12/23/22

While executions are dwindling in the US, yet another president has refused to decry the practice on the world stage, siding with nations like North Korea and China.

Hopes that the United States would finally reverse its longstanding opposition to the UN’s biannual vote on a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty were dashed on December 15. The United States upheld its historical vote of “no,” joining just 36 other countries in opposition to the measure, which was supported by 125 nations.

Aleteia previously reported that it seemed possible that the US would reverse its opposition to the UN’s proposal, as more US states than ever are doing away with the death penalty. In 2021, the Biden administration became the first to implement a federal moratorium on the death penalty. These factors had supporters of the UN’s measure hopeful that the US would finally join the majority of nations in their condemnation of the death penalty.

Prior to the UN vote, The Catholic Mobilizing Network launched a letter writing campaign urging the president to reverse the nation’s historical vote of “no” on the measure. Now, Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, is lamenting that the campaign seems to have failed. She told Catholic News Service:

“It is past time that the U.S. join the supermajority of countries who vote in favor of a universal death penalty moratorium.” She added, “Disappointingly, the U.S. retained its historical vote of ‘no.’ We have work to do in the United States.”

Meanwhile, Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, decried the vote. He brought attention to the fact that the other nations that opposed the UN’s proposed moratorium on the death penalty included Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea and Vietnam. Dunham argued that the US should not seek to emulate these countries, which are routinely found on the wrong side of human rights disputes:

“As a country, we pride ourselves on a commitment to human rights and the commitment to the dignity of all individuals. To be aligned with the actions of a country that actively repudiates those values creates a significant problem,” he said.

Read more at CNS.

Death PenaltyHuman RightsUnited NationsUnited States
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