The statement from the Portuguese presidency of the 27-nation bloc said: "The European Union strongly urges Governor Rick Perry to exercise all powers vested in his office to halt all upcoming executions and to consider the introduction of a moratorium in the state of Texas."
It continued: "There is no evidence to suggest that the use of the death penalty serves as a deterrent against violent crime and the irreversibility of the punishment means that miscarriages of justice, which are inevitable in all legal systems, cannot be redressed."
But Robert Black, a spokesman for the Texas governor, told the BBC News website: "Two hundred and thirty years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination.
"Texans long ago decided the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens.
"While we respect our friends in Europe ... Texans are doing just fine governing Texas."
Let's examine this EU assertion more closely: "There is no evidence to suggest that the use of the death penalty serves as a deterrent against violent crime and the irreversibility of the punishment means that miscarriages of justice, which are inevitable in all legal systems, cannot be redressed."
Is the EU representative actually saying that an undeserved prison sentence can be reversed after it is served? Prison deprives the prisoner of something as ephemeral as life itself: time.
Indeed, the blase attitude toward prison reflected in the EU's statement is the reason that Death Row inmates have a much greater probability of having their cases reviewed and scrutinized in every last detail than do inmates sentenced to prison terms, however long. For some reason, the nature of the death penalty itself is presumed to make the Death Row inmate more deserving of this sort of extraordinary legal assistance -- while across the United States, far more man-years are robbed from innocent men wrongly convicted but sentenced to ordinary prison terms.
If the EU really has a time machine that can give a wrongfully convicted prisoner back the years he's lost, they should share it with Texas. I bet the high-tech wizards in the Austin corridor could figure out how to jury-rig the thing to give murder victims back their lives.