Socialist International Appeals to the Governor of the State of Virginia concerning Death Sentence

12 September 2000

The Socialist International strongly urges the Governor of the State of Virginia, Mr. Gilmore, to suspend immediately the execution of the death sentence against the Italo-American citizen Derek Rocco Barnabei and to allow him the possibility of a retrial, in light of the latest evidence that could enable him to prove his innocence.

The Socialist International also launches a strong appeal to the judicial authorities of the State of Virginia and to the United States Supreme Court to allow a retrial of Mr. Barnabei, in light of the abundant evidence that may prove his innocence and avoid another grave judicial mistake in the U.S. legal system. We believe that this case deserves further attention by the judiciary and political authorities of the State of Virginia and appeal in this sense to the Governor of Virginia. We feel it is still possible to stop the execution of Derek Rocco Barnabei in order to clarify the strong doubts on several aspects of this case.

The Socialist International, which has always stood for fundamental human rights and recently launched a worldwide campaign to abolish the death penalty, cannot accept the practice of this penalty in modern civilised and democratic states, such as the case of the United States of America. This matter deserves our extreme concern, particularly when we face the risk of killing innocent people as in the case of Derek Rocco Barnabei.

The Socialist International joins in the appeal of the members of the European Parliament and its President in an effort to save the life of Derek Rocco Barnabei.