A senior Clifford Chance partner acting for Jackie Elliott, the UK-born man facing death by lethal injection in Texas next week, has criticised the justice system in the US state
Jeremy Carver, head of international law at Clifford Chance, has been acting pro bono for Elliott alongside Hugh Southey, Tooks Court barrister and UK lawyer and founder of anti-death row organisation Reprieve, since August last year.
He told The Lawyer that although Texas is probably flouting the Vienna Con-vention by sentencing a UK-born man to death, its judicial authorities were more concerned with protecting a self-perceived right to execute people.
"The problem with some US authorities, particularly Texas, is that they are jealously protective of what they see as their fundamental right to execute people," Carver said.
Elliott was sentenced to death 18 years ago for the rape and murder of 18-year-old Joyce Mungia. His lawyers are arguing for DNA testing to be carried out before the planned execution date of 4 February. They say that the tests will cast serious doubt on the original conviction.