IACHR grants precautionary measures in favor of Michael Tisius on death row in the United States

April 19, 2023

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 22/2023 on April 16, 2023, by which it granted precautionary measures, related to petition 397-23, in favor of Michael Tisius, who is sentenced to death in Missouri, in the United States of America. The IACHR considered that he is in a serious and urgent situation presenting a risk of irreparable harm to his rights.

The request alleges that Michael Tisius has been held for more than 21 years on death row at the Potosi Correctional Center in Missouri, and that he faces the risk of imminent execution, with a date set for June 6, 2023. It is alleged that several articles of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, due process, access to justice and adequate defense were violated, and that all available domestic remedies have been exhausted. For its part, the State reported that it forwarded the request for precautionary measures to the Governor and the Attorney General of the State of Missouri and reaffirmed its position that the Commission lacks authority to require States to take precautionary measures.

In the resolution, the Commission considered that Michael Tisius' rights are at risk due to the imminent execution of the death penalty, and its consequent effects on his petition, which is currently being analyzed by the Commission. Accordingly, the Inter-American Commission requests that the United States of America:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Michael Tisius; and
  2. refrain from carrying out the death penalty on Michael Tisius, until the IACHR has had the opportunity to reach a decision on his petition.

The decision to grant this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a prejudgment of any petition filed with the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 069/23

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