Mexican executed in Texas despite International Court of Justice rule

06Aug08

From CNN Newswire: Mexican national Jose Ernesto Medellin, whose death penalty conviction in the rape and murder of two teen girls sparked international controversy, was put to death in Texas on Tuesday night, prison officials said.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the last-ditch appeal of a Mexican national on Texas’ death row late Tuesday, paving the way for him to be executed for a pair of brutal slayings, state corrections officials said.
At issue is an international court’s ruling that Medellin and about 50 other Mexicans have been illegally denied access to their home country’s consul. Allowing travelers such access when they are arrested abroad is common practice.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the United States had violated the rights of the prisoners, in part because officials and prosecutors failed to notify their home country, from which the men could have received legal and other assistance. Those judges ordered the United States to provide “review and reconsideration” of the convictions and sentences of the Mexican prisoners.
The world court again last month ordered the United States to do everything within its authority to stop Medellin’s execution until his case could be further reviewed.
The Mexican government filed an appeal with the international court against the United States in January 2003, alleging violations of international law. Medellin filed his own federal and state appeals based on similar complaints, as well as a claim of ineffective counsel. Medellin has the support of the European Union and several international human rights groups. (Full article)



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