Executions in 2018: min. 690 plus 'thousands' in China

Letter to govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger

On January 20th 2005 the former vise chairman and webmaster of the GCADP, Matthias Wippich, wrote a letter to Arnold Schwarzenegger who – in his role as Governor of California - authorized the execution of Donald Beardslee.


Dear Mr. Schwarzenegger,

for many years I am have been engaged in the fight against the Death Penalty. I am shocked about every execution and can't understand that such barbarism, the continued violation of human rights still regularly takes place in a civilized country like the United States.

But the case of Donald Beardslee touches me in another way. In this case somebody became an offender who speaks the same language as I do, someone who comes frome the same culture. Like me raised in the shadow of the probably worst felony ever comitted by human beings. Did you never ask yourself what consequenses the crimes of our parents and grandparents will have on us?

At least Germany and Austria did abolish the Death Penalty already shortly after the war, the United Nations proclaimed the human rights which should guarantee the human dignity, his right to life and the protection from cruel, inhuman and humiliating penalty.

I am convinced that we have a special duty to respect the human rights although we personally are not guilty of those enormous offense the Germans committed.

You've had the power to decide on life or death.
You had the life of Donald Beardslees in your hands.
You had the opportunity to avoid him being ruthlessly and deliberately executed in such a babaric way.
You didn't do it, but handed him over to his executioners.

You refer to the judgement of several courts in this case.
Does this relieve you from personal guilt?
There are always several offenders of an execution: attorneys, jurys, legislators, prison staff and the governor.

You could have prevented a severe abuse of human rights, you could have saved a human life but you didn't. That makes you an offender.

You say that the presented evidence didn't convince you and that they did not justify a reprieve. What roll does evidece play? The Death Penalty is always wrong, it is a serious abuse of public authority, it is always a crime. I only hope that you will soon be able to appreciate what you have done, that can recognize your guilt and learn from your mistakes.

Learn your lesson from the former governor Ryan in Illinois!

Reprieve all inmates of the Californian death row and support abolition of the Death Penalty.

Yours sincerely
Matthias Wippich
Vice chairman of the German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Member of amnesty international

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