The European Union deeply regrets the execution of Ernest Johnson in the State of Missouri on Tuesday, despite his reported intellectual disability and numerous calls for clemency. The application of the death penalty to people with intellectual disabilities contravenes widely accepted international minimum standards related to the use and application of capital punishment.
The European Union strongly opposes the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.
The European Union continues to work for the universal abolition of the death penalty. In this context, we welcome the US Attorney General’s announcement in July to impose a moratorium on federal executions until the Department of Justice reviews its policies on the death penalty and the fact that executions and new death sentences at a state level in the US remain at a historic low.