To: Governor John Bel Edwards
ASK LOUISIANA TO COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES!
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Fundamental human rights are of concern to peoples of all nations. We, the undersigned, call on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to abide by all international human rights treaties that have been ratified by the United States of America, including and especially the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
Why is this important?
Every member of the United Nations, including the United States, is party to one or more of the nine major human rights treaties which protect virtually every child, woman or man in the world. The United States is also a member nation of other organizations which have created their own treaties or conventions on human rights, such as the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.
Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as Supremacy of National Law, establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. treaties, and federal statutes as "the supreme law of the land" and therefore dictates that every individual state must comply with international treaties signed by the United States.
The United States ratified the Council of Europe's Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons in 1983. The Convention allows for foreigners who have been convicted of any crime to be transferred to prisons or facilities in their home countries to serve out the remainder of their sentences in order to promote social reintegration at the conclusion of their prison term.
The success of these human rights treaties in the United States depends on local authorities' familiarity with the treaties and adherence to them.
Unfortunately, Governor Jindal, a case has been pending in Louisiana for over three years that evidences your administration’s failure - be it due to lack of awareness, neglect of duty, or blatant disregard - to adhere to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
Canada has been requesting the transfer of Scott Meyers, a prisoner at Angola State Prison, but the requests have been ignored. Mr. Meyers, born Wilfrid Allan Sutherland in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was stolen from his mother’s arms at the age of four during the Canadian “60s Scoop” effort to eradicate his native Aboriginal Cree Nation tribe. He was “adopted out” to a New Orleans family, and was raised there, never forgetting the day he was ripped away. There is no doubt about the psychological impact that this horror had on Mr. Meyers and how this experience contributed to the events that led to his incarceration. His family in Canada has been located, and both the family and Mr. Meyers would like him to be transferred to a prison near them to serve out his time, so that he may finally have a chance to meet and get to know the family he lost so long ago.
Former Governor Foster abided by the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons back in 2001 when he signed off on the transfer of Ms. Terese Terre to France. Governor Foster no doubt acted under LA Code of Criminal Procedure, Title XXX, Chapter 1, Article 892.3, which authorizes the Governor of Louisiana to act on behalf of the State and to consent to the transfer of such convicted offenders under the provisions of Article IV., Section 5(A) of the Constitution of Louisiana.
We, the signers of this petition, implore you to abide by all international human rights laws which Louisiana is a party to, and take IMMEDIATE notice of this case by acting quickly and humanely and making sure that this man is returned home as dictated by those laws.