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UK lawyers are preparing a last-ditch attempt to save UK national Tracy Housel from execution after a US judge signed his death warrant last week, despite a call for clemency from UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Housel's execution by lethal injection is scheduled for 12 March, but Lovells pro bono officer Yasmin Waljee and 14 Tooks Court barrister Hugh Southey, together with lawyers from the Federal Defence Programme in Atlanta, are persisting with their legal battle to save Housel. Waljee said the team is investigating bringing a legal action in the US domestic courts based on the concept of due process. Their appeal to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has resulted in an order from that body not to go ahead with the execution, pending its investigation into alleged human rights violations. But all previous such orders have been disregarded by the US authorities. Waljee said: "The US hasn't signed the American Convention on Human Rights, but what we're saying is that the individual should be able to approach the international human rights body. The concept of due process ought to mean the ability to go through the domestic system and international bodies." The legal team also plans to send UK lawyers to Housel's clemency hearing on 11 March. Southey is likely to make the representation with Labour MP and barrister Vera Baird.