USA: GARZA EXECUTION SACRIFICES FAIRNESS FOR FINALITY

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'Fresh from his charm offensive in Europe, President George Bush is back home allowing his country to violate once again international human rights standards.

'In allowing the execution of Juan Raul Garza, President Bush has further damaged the USA's international reputation and given its citizens less reason to feel confident in the administration of justice in their country.'

President Bush - whose five-year governorship of Texas saw 152 executions there, many in violation of international standards - denied clemency to Juan Garza yesterday.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen added:

'It is deeply troubling that the current US administration appears to believe in a policy of 'shoot now, ask questions later'.

'Attorney General John Ashcroft pushed for the execution to proceed while ordering studies into the racial and geographic disparities that characterise federal capital justice.'

The issue of such disparities is particularly relevant in the case of Juan Garza, a Mexican-American prosecuted in a federal district in Texas, one of the few jurisdictions accounting for the vast majority of federal capital prosecutions.

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