Call on the State of Ohio to commute the sentence of Billy Slagle to life without parole

Strasbourg, 31.07.2013 – “The Council of Europe stands firmly in its opposition to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances. We therefore urge the State of Ohio to commute the sentence of Billy Slagle to life without parole,” today said Marina Schuster (Germany, ALDE), the General Rapporteur on the abolition of the death penalty for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

“The practice of capital punishment in the United States has been a failed experiment that stands in stark violation of the right to life unequivocally provided by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the US in 1948. Also, executions carried out in the Council of Europe’s observer states – including the United States – put them in violation of their obligations under Statutory Resolution (93) 26 on observer status, in which they committed themselves to respect human rights,” she added.

“Billy Slagle was just 18 years old at the time of the crime. The joint appeal for mercy recently made by both prosecutors and defence attorneys makes clear that the death penalty should not be the way this case should end up. Instead, Ohio should join us in our objective of working towards universal abolition of the death penalty,” Ms Schuster concluded.