IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures to Richard Moore on Death Row in the USA

July 6, 2023

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Washington, DC—On July 4, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 39/2023, through which it granted precautionary measures in favor of Richard Moore, who is currently on death row in South Carolina, USA, and whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to his human rights. These precautionary measures relate to petition 778-23.

The petition alleges that Richard Moore is currently at risk of imminent execution and has only one appeal pending relating to the methods of his execution. The petition is based on several articles of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man pertaining to due process, equality and nondiscrimination, and adequate defense. The State reported that it forwarded the IACHR's request for information to the Governor and Attorney General of the State of South Carolina and again stated its position that the IACHR lacks the authority to require States to adopt precautionary measures.

In the resolution, the IACHR deemed that Richard Moore's rights are at risk due to the imminent implementation of the death penalty and the effects of this on his petition, which is currently being analyzed by the IACHR. Consequently, the IACHR requested that the United States of America:

  1. take the necessary measures to protect Richard Moore's rights to life and personal integrity;
  2. refrain from applying the death penalty to Richard Moore until the IACHR has been able to rule on his petition.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the state does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Convention and other applicable instruments have been violated.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has the mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is made up of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity, and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 150/23

5:40 PM