A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
July 8th, 2011
By Dan Miller
Update: Sr. Leal is no longer among us, having quite properly been executed.
Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. is still scheduled to be executed today in Texas, the Supreme Court having denied a request in which the Obama Administration had joined to stay it.
The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a bid by the Obama administration to spare the life of a Mexican national set for execution for the 1994 rape-murder of a San Antonio teenager.
Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., 38, is to be put to death at 6 p.m. today.
His case gained international attention because arresting authorities did not advise him of his right to contact his nation’s consulate. Failing to do so violated the United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and Leal’s advocates said, puts Americans held for offenses in foreign countries at risk.
Leal was sentenced to die for the May 1994 killing of Adria Sauceda, 16, whose nude body was found on a rural road near San Antonio. She had been bludgeoned with a chunk of concrete.
The Mexican government, former American diplomats and the Obama administration joined in calling for a stay in the case. …
The Supreme Court noted that it could not grant a stay to allow for the possible passage of the Leahy bill. “Our task is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be,” the court ruled.
The court also discounted arguments that “grave international consequences” may follow Leal’s execution.
“We have no authority to stay an execution in light of ‘an appeal of the president’ presenting free-ranging assertions of foreign policy consequences, when those assertions come unaccompanied by persuasive legal claim.”
Unless Governor Perry unexpectedly delays the execution, it may have happened before this is posted. It should.
Further Update: Mexico is all upset.
MEXICO CITY – Mexico condemns “in the most energetic terms” the execution of a Mexican national at a prison in Huntsville, Texas, the country’s foreign ministry said.
The death by lethal injunction of convicted murderer Humberto Leal Garcia was a “clear disobedience” of the 2004 order from the International Court of Justice that the United States review the death sentences of 51 Mexicans then awaiting execution in Texas because they had been denied their right to consular assistance at the time of arrest, the ministry said in a statement. …
The Mexican government, the Obama administration and dozens of former U.S. officials, diplomats and military officers all urged Perry to suspend the execution pending a vote in Congress on a bill to comply with the 2004 ICJ decision.
In that March 31, 2004, ruling, the ICJ said Texas had violated the rights of Leal and other Mexican nationals by failing to inform them of their right to consular assistance under the Vienna Convention, to which both the United States and Mexico are party.
Mexico’s foreign ministry deplored Perry’s decision not to delay the execution and said the Texas governor refused on Thursday even to accept a call from the Mexican ambassador in Washington, Arturo Sarukhan.
A formal protest over “this violation of international law” has been conveyed to the U.S. State Department, the ministry said.
The article does not mention the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter, noted here. The States, to the apparent disappointment of some in the Obama Administration and others who seem not to have a clue on the subject, still retain at least some vestiges of sovereignty.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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