first_imgPeter Pringle and Sunny JacobsA DONEGAL TD whose own father was sentenced to death but later cleared has hit out at the Government today over a death row prisoner in America.Thomas Pringle criticised Fine Gael and Labour for their failure to provide adequate consular assistance to Irish citizen Michael Fitzpatrick, who is facing the death penalty in the US and today has a hearing to determine whether evidence of an additional murder could be presented at his re-trial.“The Irish government is failing to take the necessary steps to ensure that their citizen facing a death sentence receives a fair trial in Florida. Mr Fitzpatrick, whose first death sentence was overturned in June of last year, is facing a retrial in Florida whereby he still faces the threat of the death penalty. “I have contacted the Tánaiste urging him to ensure consular attendance at the hearing today on a possible additional murder charge and also to request a meeting with State Attorney Bernie McCabe to assist the legal team in re-opening plea negotiations, but I have yet to hear back. While I acknowledge that Mr Fitzpatrick received a consular visit last October, this is not enough for such a serious situation.“It is standard practice for government officials to provide extensive consular assistance to nationals imprisoned abroad, including attending hearings and trials to ensure that minimum standards are upheld. I am very disappointed that the Department of Foreign Affairs cited ‘limited resources’ to legal action charity Reprieve when they asked for increased consular assistance for Mr Fitzpatrick.“Michael has already spent more than ten years on death row because of a grossly unfair first trial. It’s the Irish government’s duty to step in and make clear our position against the death penalty and Florida’s attempt to kill one of our nationals. They should start by there being representation at today’s hearing, but at this time that appears unlikely which is gravely disappointing,” stated Pringle.Mr Pringle’s father Peter was sentenced to death in 1980 for the murder of a Garda. He was released from prison 15 years later after the state accepted there had been a miscarriage of justice He later married Sunny Jacobs – an American woman who also spent 15 years on death row before also being found innocent. TD PRINGLE’S ANGER OVER DEATH ROW PRISONER was last modified: January 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Americadeath rowTanaisteThomas Pringlelast_img

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