EU 'regrets' execution in US and urges end to death penalty

The European Union expressed regret Friday at the United States' 1,000th execution since capital punishment resumed there 28 years ago and renewed a call for an end to the death penalty. Separately, the British Foreign Office in London said it had no specific comment on the execution of an Australian in Singapore on Friday, but reiterated that the European Union was opposed to the death penalty in all cases.

The EU statement in Brussels called on U.S. federal and state authorities to introduce a moratorium on executions pending their legal abolition. EU countries have all abolished the death penalty.

Double murderer Kenneth Lee Boyd was executed by injection Friday in North Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 ruled that capital punishment could resume after a 10-year moratorium. The first execution took place the following year, when Gary Gilmore went before a firing squad in Utah.

Singapore, meanwhile, executed Australian heroin trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van on Friday in a case that triggered an outcry in his country. Australia's prime minister said the execution would harm ties between the people of the two nations, AP reports.

A. A.

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