I wrote about this case the other day when John Fund was on Fox touting how wonderful this would be for Rick Perry politically if he decided to jump into the 2012 Republican presidential primary race -- Fox Host and John Fund Ask Whether Allowing Execution of Mexican National is Good Politics for Rick Perry.
Well, it looks like after tonight, he may get his answer.
Texas has executed a Mexican national for the kidnapping and rape of a 16-year-old San Antonio girl. Humberto Leal Garcia, 38, was put to death less than two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-to-4 vote, rejected pleas from the Obama administration for a delay to avoid what it called serious international repercussions.
This was Texas's seventh execution of the year and the second execution since 2008 of a Mexican national who was denied access to the Mexican consul before trial.
Before Leal Garcia's trial, Texas authorities failed to inform him of his right to speak with officers from the Mexican consulate and failed to inform the consulate that a Mexican national had been arrested. Both of those failures violated a 1963 treaty signed by the U.S. Indeed, the consular access provision was added to the treaty at the insistence of the United States.
The U.S. relies on the treaty to secure legal help and often to win release of Americans imprisoned abroad, some in countries such as Iran, Libya and Syria. Last year alone the U.S. invoked the treaty for 3,500 Americans imprisoned in other countries.
In Leal Garcia's case, Mexico said that if it had known of his arrest, it could have provided sufficient legal help and information about his abusive childhood that the death penalty might well have been averted.
In 2008, in a similar case brought by the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled that the consular access treaty does not bind state courts unless Congress, in addition to its ratification of the treaty, enacts an enforcement law. The Obama administration last month endorsed such a law and last week asked the Supreme Court to stay the Leal Garcia execution to allow it time to win passage of the proposed statute. Read on...
Democracy Now had more on this earlier today before the man was executed this evening -- Mexican Denied Consular Rights Faces Texas Execution Tonight Despite White House Opposition:
The Obama administration has urged Texas to delay tonight’s execution of a Mexican national, saying it would put the U.S. in breach of international obligations. Humberto Leal Garcia is set to be executed for the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of Adria Sauceda, a 16-year-old girl. After his arrest, Leal was provided with court-appointed lawyers but never informed he could have access to Mexican consular officials, as is required under the United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Leal’s family still maintains he is innocent and defense attorney says his case was also hurt by inadequate counsel by his court-appointed attorney. Barring a last minute stay by Texas Governor Rick Perry or the U.S. Supreme Court, Leal is set to be executed at 6pm. We speak with Humberto Leal’s attorney, Sandra Babcock. [Includes rush transcript]