We respectfully and urgently ask President Zetsche to issue a clear statement against the current situation in Alabama regarding the Death Penalty.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Members of the Board of Management of Daimler AG Daimler AG 70546 Stuttgart Germany Phone: +49 711 17 0 Fax: +49 711 17 22244 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Dr. Zetsche, Dear members of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, I recently learned that Daimler AG has an automobile manufacturing plant near Vance, Alabama. Alabama has a deplorable history of slavery and racism and still supports the Death Penalty. The Death Penalty is a savage injustice. In my view and the one of main international NGO defending Human Rights, it is nothing but State sanctioned murder. Sorrowfully, Attorney General Luther Strange has asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set execution dates for nine (9) men. Needless to say this is an election year and it never fails that Alabama's politicians use executions to bolster their chances for reelection. I would like to respectfully remind you of the principles contained in your Daimler AG’s Integrity Code The Integrity Code “defines the principles of behavior and guidelines for everyday conduct at Daimler. It relates to interpersonal conduct within the company as well as conduct toward customers and business partners. Fairness, responsibility and compliance with legislation are key principles in this context. The Integrity Code is based on shared values developed in cooperation with Daimler's employees. In addition to general principles of behavior, the Integrity Code includes requirements and regulations concerning the following issues: Protection of human rights…” http://www.daimler.com/dccom/0-5-1521485-1-1521486-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-7145-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html The right to life is at the core of all Human Rights. Therefore, the death penalty is a grave offense to Human Rights. Protocol 13 of The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides for the total abolition of the death penalty.Currently all Council of Europe member states bar three, have ratified Protocol 13, including Germany. http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/187.htm The United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) defines global standards for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on Human Rights linked to business activity. It states: “15. In order to meet their responsibility to respect human rights, business enterprises should have in place policies and processes appropriate to their size and circumstances, including: (a) A policy commitment to meet their responsibility to respect human rights; (b) A human rights due-diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their impacts on human rights; (c) Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts they cause or to which they contribute.” http://business-humanrights.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/ruggie/ruggie-guiding-principles-21-mar-2011.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Guiding_Principles_on_Business_and_Human_Rights A similar business venture involving the Danish pharmaceutical company, Lundbeck, led many of its shareholders to disinvest from Lundbeck. “Lundbeck’s failure to provide adequate answers has frustrated politicians, doctors, journalists, human rights groups and now investors. “The moral consequences of being complicit in executions should have been enough to make Lundbeck take action; perhaps now that they are being hit in the pocket, they’ll realize they simply cannot afford to ignore this issue for one day longer.” http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2011_05_13_Lundbeck_divestment/ Most, if not all who receive the Death Penalty in Alabama are indigent and are represented by pro-bono often out of state attorneys. The recent decision of Alabama’s Attorney General, Luther Strange, to speed up death penalty appeals is also a very troubling fact. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/editorial-proposal-speed-death-penalty-appeals-troubling For example, when Mr. Courtney Lockhart was tried for murder in Alabama, the jury unanimously recommended a life sentence, but the judge overrode that recommendation and sentenced Mr. Lockhart to death instead. http://www.npr.org/2014/07/25/335418230/with-judges-overriding-death-penalty-cases-alabama-is-an-outlier http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/1870 It’s also the case of Mr. Walter McMillian who was sentenced to death for the murder of Ronda Morrison in 1986. On February 23, 1993, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Mr. McMillian’s conviction and ordered a new trial. On March 2, 1993, prosecutors dismissed charges against Mr. McMillian and he was released. http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3461 http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/browse.aspx Dear Dr.Zetsche, dear members of the Board, the German people suffered a lot from bad decisions in the last decades, but joined the concert of nations for a more humane world where the Death Penalty is a bad souvenir of the past. I think that concerned German citizens and corporations would not appreciate knowing that a German corporation could be associated with a State like Alabama that still imposes the Death Penalty and, therefore continues to show a total disregard for Human Rights and evolving standards of decency. Your company is of vital importance to Alabama. I am asking you to use your influence and let Governor Bentley and the State of Alabama know that you don't support the Death Penalty and help us to stop this upcoming blood bath in Alabama. We respectfully and urgently ask you Mr. President Zetsche, to issue a clear statement against the current situation in Alabama regarding the Death Penalty. Sincerely,