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Canada will not request reprieve for Canadian death row inmate in Montana

[JURIST] Canada's ruling Conservative Party [party website] government said Thursday that it will not ask Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to commute the death sentence of a Canadian-born man on death row in Montana [CCADP backgrounder]. The announcement marks a sharp departure in Canadian foreign policy; the Canadian government has traditionally tried to save Canadians from execution in foreign countries. Though no state-supported executions have taken place in Canada since 1962 [AI backgrounder], opposition Liberal Party lawmakers contend the policy shift indicates that the Conservative government supports the death penalty. The Canadian Press has more.

Montana, like many other US states, uses lethal injection [JURIST news archive] for executions. Many states have recently declared an effective moratorium on lethal injection executions pending the outcome of a Supreme Court case - Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; cert. petition] - that challenges lethal injection as a form of "cruel and unusual punishment."

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