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Amnesty International USA: Robert Comer Execution is State-Sanctioned Suicide, Says Amnesty International

MAY 21, 2007
4:22 PM

CONTACT: Amnesty International USA 
Ben Somberg, 212/633-4268 or
Brian Evans, 202/544-0200 x496

Robert Comer Execution is State-Sanctioned Suicide, Says Amnesty International

NEW YORK - MAY 21 - Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, released the following statement today regarding the scheduled execution of Robert Comer in Arizona on Tuesday, May 22:

"Robert Comer has given up his appeals and has 'volunteered' to be executed by the state. But a decision by someone under an imminent threat of death can never be truly 'voluntary' -- and this execution date should never have been set. No matter which way the state would like to spin it, there is no disguising the fact that this is state-sanctioned suicide."

"It has been well documented that Comer has suffered from a major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and SHU (Segregated Housing Unit) syndrome. It is unconscionable that an individual suffering from such severe mental illness is deemed 'competent' to give up his appeals. It's ironic that a state does all it can to prevent inmates from committing suicide while simultaneously carrying out an execution of a 'volunteer' -- in essence, aiding and abetting an inmate's death wish.

"Arizona's move to execute Robert Comer stands against the national trend of questioning the death penalty and moving away from it. This execution is a macabre act that takes Arizona a step backwards."

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For more information on Amnesty International's work against the death penalty, please visit:


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