Oklahoma First Execution
Oklahoma First Execution - First US execution in 2012, Oklahoma marked the country's first execution this year by putting convicted murderer Gary Rolan Welch to death on Thursday. Welch was sentenced to death after fatally stabbing a man in 1994 during a dispute. He apparently tried to kill himself three weeks before the execution.
In the US state of Oklahoma, a prisoner convicted of murder yet pleading not guilty has become the first American inmate to be executed in 2012.
At his last hearing, the 49-year-old maintained that he had only killed Hardcastle in self-defense and that he would not apologize for the killing because Hardcastle had initiated the fight.
"To me, this was life or death. It was just luck that I survived," said Welch. "My intentions were never to kill him. But I also didn't intend for him to kill me either."
However, Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board narrowly denied clemency.
Welch has become the 1,278 person to be executed since capital punishment was reinstated in the United States in 1976.
Since 1976, every year the US has published a detailed report on the state of human rights in the world, often with scathing analyses of alleged abuses committed in China and Russia.
On December 28, 2011, Russia released its first report on the US human rights record, in which it argued that "Judicial errors are the Achilles' heel of American justice as concerns capital punishment."
According to the report, the United States has sentenced about 130 people to death in the past 30 years, who were later cleared of the charges, some after they were executed.
Paul Wolf, a human rights and international lawyer in Washington, has said, “There's almost no end to the list of human rights abuses that the United States is committing.”