MONSTER star Charlize Theron launched a bitter attack on America's death penalty laws at the BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL premiere of her OSCAR-nominated film.

The 28-year-old blonde beauty - who plays executed serial killer AILEEN WUORNOS in the dark drama - believes such criminals are used as "political pawns" by officials determined to keep the archaic sentence.

Since Charlize witnessed her own mother kill her father in self-defence when she was just 15, she has a personal interest in the matter.

Charlize says, "I'm not for the death penalty and working on this film didn't really change anything for me."

"I don't think condemning people who murder and then killing them necessarily sends out the right message. And I have a huge problem with the way these people are used as political pawns."

09/02/2004 13:55