On 10 October, on the occasion of the 20th World Day against the Death Penalty, Commissioner O’Malley participated in a well-attended public event at the Bolívar Hall in Casa de América featuring a panel co-organized by the International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP), the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation titled “The Death Penalty in the Americas.”
ICDP Commissioner Martin O’Malley, who as Governor of Maryland abolished the death penalty in his state in March 2013, participated in the panel, where he was joined by Carolina Fernández, Chargé d’affaires of the Costa Rican Embassy in Spain, Esteban Beltrán, Director of Amnesty International Spain, and Joaquín José Martínez, the first Spanish national to be exonerated after facing the death penalty in the United States. The event was moderated by Asunta Vivó Cavaller, Senior Adviser of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs.
The Director of Casa América Ambassador Enrique Ojeda made opening remarks followed by ICDP Commissioner O’Malley, who spoke about his experience as he abolished the death penalty in Maryland and the current situation of the death penalty in the USA. Chargé d’Affairs Carolina Fernández recalled the experience of Costa Rica road to abolishing the death penalty and highlighted her country´s current commitment as a co-facilitator (with Australia) on efforts to increase support for the 2022 UNGA resolution on a moratorium on the death penalty, AI Director Esteban Beltrán explained the situation of the death penalty in the Americas. Joaquín José Martínez talked about his personal experience while he was under sentence of death in the United States and how he was exonerated with the efforts of the international community, supporters in the USA. After the panel discussion, the floor was opened for interventions by diplomatic representatives and questions from the audience.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain José Manuel Albares Bueno closed the event by highlighting the role of the Spanish government in establishing and continuing to support ICDP, as well as the importance of protecting the right to life, the UNGA Resolutions on a moratorium on the death penalty and the necessity of achieving death penalty abolition to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals.
Please find a recording of the event below: