BUSH URGED TO CHANGE COURSE

During Mr Bush's five-year governorship in Texas 152 men and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights were put to death, almost twice the number killed in any other state in over two decades. In many cases Texas violated international human rights safeguards in its pursuit of judicial killings. The USA is fast approaching its 700th execution since resuming executions in 1977, more than half of which have occurred in the past five years alone.

During his inauguration as Governor of Texas on 17 January 1995, George Bush said 'we must make Texas a beacon state', a process he claims to have achieved, subsequently running for president under a 'compassionate conservatism' banner.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'Mr Bush should use his presidency to transform the US from a country that allows serious human rights violations to one that is a torch-bearer for the highest human rights standards'.

Though outgoing president Bill Clinton claims the USA has become a 'more decent, more humane' country under his presidency and 'the leading force for human rights around the world', Amnesty International has documented numerous serious human rights violations throughout Mr Clinton's presidency.

With 20 federal prisoners on death row, Amnesty International will be calling on the new president to declare a moratorium on the federal death penalty . Ahead of 20 January Amnesty International is also asking outgoing president Clinton to commute the death sentence against David Ronald Chandler, the first person to be sentenced to death after the federal death penalty was reintroduced in 1988. There are serious doubts about Mr Chandler's guilt and the adequacy of his legal representation in 1991.

In 1998-99 Amnesty International held a year-long international campaign to highlight the need for 'Rights For All' in the USA, a campaign which publicised the prevalence of widespread human rights violations in the USA.

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