Lettre de la FIACAT à George H. Ryan, ancien gouverneur de l’Illinois ayant commué les peines des condamnés à mort en peines de prison à vie.
23 January 2003
Dear Mr Ryan,
On behalf of the International Federation of ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture), which represents national ACAT associations in some 35 countries around the world, I wish to convey to you our warmest congratulations on your decision of 11 January 2003 to commute the sentences of all death row inmates in Illinois.
This decision will obviously have come as a huge relief to all the prisoners concerned and to their families and friends. It is excellent news for all those who have campaigned on their behalf in Illinois and elsewhere. However, it is also much more than that. The principled and courageous stand you have taken - explaining how you came to this conclusion while at the same time expressing deep sympathy for the victims of crime - has undoubtedly brought the process of abolishing capital punishment US-wide a major step forward. We hope many other state governors will follow your example. Furthermore, the impact your action has had well beyond the United States’ borders will surely contribute to pushing back the death penalty in countries around the world.
We are also writing to your successor, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, asking him to continue the work you have started, with a view to ensuring the eventual removal of the death penalty from your state’s statute books.
President of FIACAT