USA -- VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW: CHILD OFFENDER EXECUTED, TWO MORE SCHEDULED TO DIE

This was the fifth known execution of a child offender since October1997. All five killings have been carried out in the USA. Since 1990 theUSA has executed more child offenders (11) than the rest of the worldcombined (nine).

Thomas was put to death by lethal injection in Virginia at 9pm localtime on 10 January. The US Supreme Court had earlier refused to consideran appeal based on international law banning the use of the death penaltyagainst child offenders -- those who commit crimes when under aged 18.

Governor Gilmore denied clemency and allowed the execution to goahead. This is the second time he has allowed a child offender to beexecuted (Dwayne Allen Wright was executed in Virginia on 14 October 1998).The Governor now has to decide whether he will allow a third such violationof international law to mark his governorship: Steve Edward Roach isscheduled for execution on Thursday night in Virginia for a crime committedat 17.

'Governor Gilmore should show leadership towards putting an end to thedeath penalty by granting clemency to Steve Roach,' Amnesty Internationalsaid.

A third such prisoner, Glen McGinnis is set to be put to death inTexas on 25 January for a crime committed at 17.

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