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#292028 - 08/06/08 08:00 PM DO NOT mess with Texas
Amanda Syme Offline
DALLAS, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Texas defied the World Court and executed a Mexican national by lethal injection on Tuesday over the objections of the international judicial body and neighboring Mexico.

Jose Medellin, 33, was pronounced dead at 9:57 p.m. CDT (0257 GMT) in the state's death chamber in Huntsville, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

He had been condemned for the 1993 rape and murder of 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena in Houston and lost his bid late Tuesday for a last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The World Court last month ordered the U.S. government to "take all measures necessary" to halt the upcoming executions of five Mexicans including Medellin's on the grounds that they had been deprived of their right to consular services after their arrests.

Medellin's execution is sure to anger neighboring Mexico and analysts have said it could make life rough for Americans arrested abroad if other countries decide to evoke the U.S. example and deprive them of their right to consular services.

This typically means diplomats will visit and provide legal advice to their nationals being held by authorities.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had recommended that the state's Republican governor Rick Perry not grant a temporary reprieve, paving the way for Medellin's execution.

Texas, which executes far more convicts than any other U.S. state, had taken the view that the brutal nature of Medellin's crimes rendered him unfit for a reprieve or lesser sentence.

The World Court's jurisdiction also does not reach Texas, a state where authorities generally don't like outsiders telling them what to do.

The political fall-out from the Medellin and related cases has reached the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. President George W. Bush directed his native Texas to comply with a World Court ruling in 2004 mandating review of the cases of Medellin and other Mexicans in U.S. prisons awaiting execution. The U.S. Supreme Court said in March Bush's action had exceeded his authority.

The government of Mexico sent the U.S. State Department a diplomatic note of protest, expressing "its concern for the precedent" that the case "may create for the rights of Mexican nationals who may be detained in that country."

CHILLING CRIME

The June 1993 crime for which Medellin was condemned was chilling. According to the Texas Attorney General's office, Pena and her 14-year-old companion, Jennifer Ertman, were walking home when they encountered a gang initiation.

Medellin and his fellow gang members sexually assaulted, beat and strangled the two girls. When their badly decomposed bodies were finally recovered, they could only be identified by dental records. Medellin was only convicted of Pena's murder.

Speaking to Reuters in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo, Medellin's aunt Reyna Armendariz, 45, said:

"He was a normal, happy kid ... They don't have the right to take his life away, we acknowledged that he committed a crime but make him pay with a life sentence," she said.

In his last statement Medellin said: "I am sorry my actions caused pain." He had no last meal request, which is a ritual of U.S. executions.

Medellin was the fifth inmate executed in Texas so far this year and the 410th put to death since 1982, when the state resumed executions six years after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment.

Texas currently has 14 more executions scheduled for this year and one early in 2009.

Seventeen executions have now been carried out in the United States since the Supreme Court in April lifted an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty when it rejected a challenge to the three-drug cocktail used in most lethal injections.

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#292046 - 08/06/08 10:24 PM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: Amanda Syme]
Otteralum Offline
I'm not a fan of the death penalty, but I'm even less a fan of a "world court" having any jurisdiction whatsoever in the U.S.
_________________________
I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

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#292047 - 08/06/08 10:46 PM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: Otteralum]
Dutch Offline
More importantly, DO NOT RAPE AND MURDER TEENAGERS.
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Now live from beautiful downtown San Pedro.

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#292075 - 08/07/08 03:02 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: Dutch]
Leah-Ann Offline
Sad commentary all around
_________________________
I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?

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#292080 - 08/07/08 03:21 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: Leah-Ann]
H20dog Offline
Lethal injection is too good for this animal! Who the hell is the world court....they can kiss my..................

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#292081 - 08/07/08 03:24 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: H20dog]
SP Daily Offline
Vengeance is mine saith the Lord...Romans 12:19-21

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#292083 - 08/07/08 03:31 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: SP Daily]
Ernie B Offline
Geeze !
_________________________
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

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#292085 - 08/07/08 03:50 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: Ernie B]
azbob Offline
From the description of the crime, the Death Penalty is appropriate! This can be a debate forever on whether “the death penalty is a deterrent”, but in this case, it fits more “an eye for an eye”: Brutal and senseless! IMO, the others should have received the same fate! No, I’m not a proponent of the death penalty, but there are cases where I believe it applies.
_________________________
"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO

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#292093 - 08/07/08 04:40 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: azbob]
Leah-Ann Offline
Say what you will about the death penalty, to me this is just another case of people not knowing all the facts before jumping to the conclusion that the action must be correct or it wouldn't have been taken.
This execution was in violation of the Vienna Convention, a treaty this country signed several decades ago. By choosing to ingore a treaty the United States agreed to abide by, the Texas state government has placed at risk United States citizens detained all over the world. It has also undermined the US's ability to call for anyone else to abide by promises made by their governments. And for what? Vengence? Ghandi had it right: "An eye for an eye soon leaves everyone blind."


Also not mentioned in the "description of the crime" is the fact that Mr. Medillan was barely 18 years old at the time of the offenses. Even if there were absolutely no errors made in his trial, there is no escaping the fact that but for a matter of months, he would not have been eligible for execution. Unless you've actually read something about this case, you really have no idea what the facts of this case entail...
_________________________
I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?

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#292094 - 08/07/08 04:58 AM Re: DO NOT mess with Texas [Re: Leah-Ann]
azbob Offline
Leah-Ann, I said "From the description of the crime, the Death Penalty is appropriate": no I have not researched this case, but if you wish to debate it, I will be glad to.

How can the Vienna Convention apply to an American citizen in the US? If it does apply, then he was not a citizen! Was he here legally or illegally? Makes a huge difference! Legally he may have a right to Consulate advice. Here illegally and he has no rights except “Miranda”. If I were illegally in another Country and committed a crime, I would not expect the American Embassy to come to my rescue. I said “committed a crime”!

I must research further if you wish to debate the issue, but now is bed time for “Bonzo”! Tomorrow will be a beautiful day.
_________________________
"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO

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