Paris, September 23, 2010
We deplore the fact that the Governor of the State of Virginia rejected on Tuesday the request for a pardon by Teresa Lewis, who has been sentenced to death in this State, despite her alleged mental deficiency and despite appeals made by the European Union a few days ago.
In these settings, we regret the decision by the Supreme Court to reject Teresa Lewis’s appeal.
France reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty in all places and circumstances. It considers that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of human dignity. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect and any judicial error in the application of the death penalty is irreversible.
It urges the States that are continuing to apply the death penalty to abolish it particularly with respect to minors, pregnant women and persons suffering from mental disorders, in accordance with resolution 1984/50 of the UN Economic and Social Council.
France is striving to achieve the abolition of the death penalty by seeking a global moratorium on executions, the first step towards achieving this objective.