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United States - Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Death Penalty - May 2022

Date: May 16, 2022
Document: United States CERD Death Penalty Report (PDF 703.6 KB)
Country: United States of America
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty
Mechanism: UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Report Type: List of Issues

1. The Committee last reviewed the United States' compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 2014. Among the 2014 Concluding Observations are two recommendations relevant to this Report. 2. The Committee stated that it "remain[ed] concerned that members of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans, continue to be disproportionately arrested, incarcerated and subjected to harsher sentences, including life imprisonment without parole and the death penalty." Among other things, the Committee encouraged "[a]mending laws and policies leading to racially disparate impacts in the criminal justice system ... and implementing effective national strategies or plans of action aimed at eliminating structural discrimination." The Committee specifically encouraged "[i]mposing a moratorium on the death penalty, at the federal level, with a view to abolishing the death penalty."1 3. The Committee also commented on "the ongoing challenges faced by indigent persons belonging to racial and ethnic minorities to access legal counsel in criminal proceedings in practice." The Committee encouraged the adoption of "all necessary measures to eliminate the disproportionate impact of systemic inadequacies in criminal defence programmes on indigent defendants belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, including by improving the quality of legal representation provided to indigent defendants."2 4. This report addresses the United States' compliance with its human rights obligations under the Convention with regard to the death penalty, including with respect to those areas identified in the Committee's 2014 Concluding Observations as described above.