USA: Bush should stop execution of Napoleon Beazley

President Bush, currently holidaying in Texas, is being urged by the organisation to intervene to prevent an execution which is forbidden under international law and now unknown in nearly every other country in the world.

If the execution goes ahead Napoleon Beazley, convicted of a carjacking murder committed when he was 17, would become the 18th child offender executed - and the 10th in Texas - since judicial killing resumed in the USA.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'In Texas, under-18s are considered too young to vote, drink or serve on a jury, yet the state has no qualms in sentencing them to death.

Texas is a pariah state within a rogue nation when it comes to the execution of child offenders and Mr Bush should use his power to put a stop to this outrage.

Denied any chance of rehabilitation, Napoleon Beazley's appears to be a case of one strike and you're out.'

The authorities in Texas, which accounts for almost a third of the world's known executions of child offenders in the past decade and holds 31 of the 80 juvenile offenders awaiting execution in the USA, are also being called on to prevent the execution.

Napoleon Beazley's case - documented in a recent report by Amnesty International - highlights other issues causing growing concern in the USA, including racism and poor legal representation. His trial saw the prosecution labelling this black teenager an 'animal' in front of 12 white jurors, one of whom has since been shown to harbour profound prejudice against African-Americans.

As in over 80% of the 725-plus executions carried out in the USA since 1977, the original crime involved a white victim. Napoleon Beazley is due to be killed for the murder of John Luttig, the father of a federal appeal court judge, and a well-known citizen in the east Texas town where the trial was held.

On 8 August 2001 Texas executed its 250th prisoner since 1982.

Read the report: USA - Death in Black and White

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