POLITICS

Maryland Death Penalty Repeal Should 'Inspire' Other States To Follow, Says Britain

18/03/2013 15:22 GMT

The British government has welcomed Maryland's decision to halt the use of the death penalty and encouraged other US States to follow suit, arguing the practise "undermines human dignity".

On Friday Maryland became the 18th US state to ban capital punishment following a vote in its general assembly.

Speaking in London on Monday the British minister for North America, Alistair Burt, said the UK "warmly welcomed" the move by governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley.

"Maryland has become the 18th US state to repeal the death penalty, and the sixth state in the last six years, which reinforces the trend towards abolition," he said.

"I hope that this decision will inspire other US states which still retain the death penalty to follow Maryland’s positive example.

Burt added: "It is the longstanding policy of the UK to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle.

"We consider that its use undermines human dignity, that there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value, and that any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition is irreversible and irreparable."