(Brussels, Belgium) Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement:
It was with deep regret that I learnt that Mr John Ferguson was executed on August 5 in the State of Florida. A plea by Mr Ferguson's lawyer calling for the execution to be commuted, mentioning a 40-year history of paranoid schizophrenia, was turned down.
The European Union recognises the serious nature of the crime involved and expresses its sincere
sympathy to the surviving family and friends of the victims.
However, the EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances
and calls for a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition. With capital
punishment, any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, represents an
irreversible loss of human life.