COLF Letter Concerning the Scheduled Execution of Canadian Joseph Stanley Faulder

Monday, November 30 1998

By Fax

The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

Dear Mr. Axworthy,

On behalf of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, I would like to commend you and the Government for your efforts on behalf of Mr. Joseph Stanley Faulder, a Canadian citizen who is scheduled to be executed in the state of Texas on December 10, 1998. The amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of the Government of Canada in the Supreme Court of the United States in support of Mr. Faulder’s application for judicial review clearly demonstrates concern that Canadians be treated justly when abroad.

By insisting that the United States’ breach of the Vienna Convention is a significant factor in determining whether the case should be reviewed, the Government has forcefully underlined that international standards of justice must be respected. Your appeals to Governor George Bush in Texas and to the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles for clemency express the humanitarian as well as the legal aspects of Mr. Faulder’s case. One cannot help noticing that Mr. Faulder’s scheduled date of execution is on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which includes the most fundamental right of all – the right to life.

Our concern for Mr. Faulder is based on the unswerving belief that human life and dignity must be respected and protected without exception. As we approach the next millennium, neither public order nor the common good justify the death penalty. While we are not in a position to judge the guilt or innocence of Mr. Faulder, it would seem from the public record that there have been enough irregularities to seriously question whether justice was done in this case. When a person’s life is at stake, every care should be taken to ensure that no mistakes are made.

Thank you for doing all that you can in this very compelling case.


+ Most Rev. Adam Exner, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Vancouver
Catholic Organization for Life and Family