Governor of the State of Alabama
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130
Fax: (334) 353-0004
Re: Thomas Arthur
Dear Governor Bentley:
Human Rights Watch strongly urges you to prevent the execution of Thomas
Arthur, currently scheduled for March 29, 2012.
The cornerstones of human rights are the respect for the inherent dignity of
all human beings and the right to equal treatment. Human Rights Watch opposes
capital punishment because the inherent dignity of the person cannot be squared
with the death penalty, a form of punishment unique in its cruelty and
finality, and a punishment inevitably and universally plagued with
arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.
Given the irrevocability of death, every precaution must be taken to ensure
that mistakes are not made. Since 1973, 140 persons—including five in
Alabama—have been released from US death rows after they were shown to be
innocent of the crimes for which they had been sentenced to die. Some had come
within days of execution.
Alabama simply should not tolerate the risk that one of its citizens will be
executed for a crime he or she did not commit.
For these reasons, we urge you prevent the execution of Thomas Arthur.
Alison Parker, Director, US Program
Human Rights Watch
(source: Human Rights Watch)