Document - USA (South Dakota): Further information on Death penalty / Legal concern: Elijah Page (m)


PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 51/120/2007

13 July 2007


Further information on UA 154/07 (AMR 51/108/2007, 18 June 2007) – Death penalty / Legal concern

USA (South Dakota) Elijah Page (m), white, aged 25


Elijah Page was executed in South Dakota shortly after 10pm local time on 11 July, in that state’s first execution since April 1947. He had been sentenced to death in 2001 for the murder of 19-year-old Chester Allan Poage in 2000. Elijah Page, who was 18 at the time of the crime and emerging from a childhood of deprivation and abuse, had given up hisappeals.


Elijah Page made no final statement before being put to death by lethal injection. Before the execution his father had said that he visited his son every day for the past week at the prison. He said that his son was remorseful: "He wants everybody to know he feels bad for what happened. He's not a cold-hearted person like they're making him out to be."


After the execution, the mother of the murder victim said: "Elijah Page had the ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime, and for that I'm proud of the state, the attorney general, the governor and everyone at the state penitentiary for doing a job well done. I'm proud to be an American."


Elijah Page becomes the 30th prisoner to be put to death this year in the USA, and the 1,087th overall since judicial killing resumed in 1977. Thirty-four states and the federal government have now conducted at least one execution since the US Supreme Court lifted a de factomoratorium on the death penalty in 1976. Including South Dakota, 15 states and the federal government have resumed judicial killing with the execution of a prisoner who had given up his appeals. South Dakota is now one of six states whose only post-1977 executions have been of so-called "volunteers". More than 120 such prisoners have been put to death (for further information see USA: Prisoner-assisted homicide: More ‘volunteer’ executions loom, AI Index: AMR 51/087/2007, 17 May 2007, http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR510872007).


No further action is requested. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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