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integer at www.god-emil.dk integer at www.god-emil.dk
Sat Jan 1 00:26:58 EST 2000


C. Lack of awareness of United States international obligations

105. Government officials and members of the judiciary at the federal and state levels with whom the Special Rapporteur held meetings (with the exception of
officials in the Department of State) had little awareness of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and international legal obligations of the
United States regarding the death penalty. Few knew that the United States had ratified this treaty and that, therefore, the country was bound by its provisions.
It was brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur that state authorities had not been informed by the Federal Government about the existence and/or
ratification of this treaty, and were consequently not aware of it. No efforts appeared to have been undertaken by the Federal Government to disseminate the

127. The Special Rapporteur was particularly
shocked at the death of Sammy Marshall in San Quentin prison in California. Marshall, a 51­year-old man, was on death row for murder. On 27 February
1997, the California Supreme Court reversed his death sentence. According to the information received, he was never informed about it. On 15 June, several
guards allegedly entered his cell and asked him to come out. When he refused, pepper spray was used, which reportedly caused his death.

"Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world ... .
Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in
vain for progress in the larger world." ­ Eleanor Roosevelt

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