Texas Plan to Execute Mexican May Harm U.S. Ties Abroad, Kerry Says

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  • oldguy

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    Texas Plan to Execute Mexican May Harm U.S. Ties Abroad, Kerry Says
    Kerry has time for this Mexican National murderer but not the American pastor in IRan......
    Texas Plan to Execute Mexican May Harm U.S. Ties Abroad, Kerry Says


    By MANNY FERNANDEZ

    Published: December 11, 2013

    HOUSTON — The scheduled execution next month of a Mexican national by the State of Texas threatens to damage relations between the United States and Mexico and complicate the ability of the United States to help Americans detained overseas, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has warned Texas officials.

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    Texas State Department of Corrections

    Edgar Arias Tamayo

    The Mexican, Edgar Arias Tamayo, 46, was convicted of shooting and killing a Houston police officer who was taking him to jail after a robbery in 1994. Mr. Tamayo, who was in the nation illegally, was not notified of his right to contact the Mexican Consulate, in violation of an international treaty known as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. That violation, an international tribunal’s order for his case to be reviewed and a judge’s recent decision to set Mr. Tamayo’s execution for Jan. 22, are now at the center of a controversy that has attracted the attention of the State Department and the Mexican government.

    Despite Mr. Kerry’s involvement, there has been no sign that Texas officials plan to delay the execution. On Wednesday, Mr. Tamayo’s lawyers asked Gov. Rick Perryto grant him a 30-day reprieve and petitioned the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute his death sentence to life in prison. They are using Mr. Kerry’s letter, sent to Texas officials in September, to highlight the international issues at stake.

    In 2004, the top judicial body of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, ordered the United States to review the convictions of Mr. Tamayo and 50 other Mexican nationals whose Vienna Convention rights, it said, were violated and who were sentenced to death in the United States. The international court, also known as the World Court, found that United States courts had to determine in each case whether the violation of consular rights harmed the defendant. In the nine years since the World Court’s decision, no United States court has reviewed the Vienna Convention issues in Mr. Tamayo’s case, said Maurie Levin, one of his lawyers.

    In a letter sent to Mr. Perry and the Texas attorney general, Mr. Kerry took the unusual step of weighing in on a state death-penalty case, arguing that Mr. Tamayo’s execution would affect the ability of the United States to comply with the international court’s order in what is known as the Avena case. The World Court’s judgment is binding on the United States, Mr. Kerry wrote, and complying with it ensures that the federal government can rely on Vienna Convention protections when aiding Americans detained abroad.

    “I have no reason to doubt the facts of Mr. Tamayo’s conviction, and as a former prosecutor, I have no sympathy for anyone who would murder a police officer,” Mr. Kerry wrote, describing his concern as a “process issue” that could impact the way Americans are treated overseas. “Our consular visits help ensure U.S. citizens detained overseas have access to food and appropriate medical care, if needed, as well as access to legal representation.”

    Mr. Kerry also shared with Mr. Perry and the Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, a letter sent to him earlier this year by Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Eduardo Medina Mora, who wrote that “this issue has become and could continue to be a significant irritant in the relations between our two countries.”

    Texas officials, including Mr. Perry, have argued that the state is not directly bound by the World Court’s decision and that it is a matter best handled by federal officials and Congress, where legislation ordering the states to comply with the tribunal’s judgment is pending. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from — if you commit a despicable crime like this in Texas, you are subject to our state laws, including a fair trial by jury and the ultimate penalty,” Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Mr. Perry, said when asked to respond to Mr. Kerry’s letter.

    In 2008, Texas executed another Mexican national, José E. Medellín, who was part of the Avena case and was convicted in the rape and murder of two teenage girls in Houston. Before Mr. Medellín’s execution, President Bush ordered Texas and other states to review the convictions of Mr. Medellín and the other Mexican nationals whose consular rights were violated. But the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the president had no authority to order state courts to abide by the World Court’s decision, agreeing with the arguments made by Texas’s then-solicitor general, Ted Cruz, now one of its senators in Washington.

    Mr. Medellín was executed four months after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hunstville, Tex., site of the state’s death chamber, the busiest in the country. In his 2010 book, “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” Mr. Perry wrote that three justices did not agree with the state’s position, “perhaps believing instead that international law should trump the laws of Texas.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/us...erry-says.html
     

    TxDad

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    “It doesn’t matter where you’re from — if you commit a despicable crime like this in Texas, you are subject to our state laws, including a fair trial by jury and the ultimate penalty,” Lucy Nashed

    This is about all that needs to be said.
     

    biglucky

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    Dripping Springs, TX
    Ok, we won't execute him... IF and only if... we can issue an invoice for every illegal alien Mexican citizen sitting in a Texas prison (retroactively of course) that covers the cost of incarceration of their criminal scum... Otherwise, burn the bastard..
     

    Glockster69

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    We enforce our laws here. This guy was not convicted of being the wrong religion or some minor crime.

    Fire up old sparky, as far as I'm concerned.

    LoL .. sparky ain't been used in years. It's now *choot 'em*

    It's long overdue that the USA stop trying to solve the worlds problems and worrying about their feelings and time we clean our own house.

    Maybe we can have a TGT meet at one of the upcoming events.

    http://tdcj.state.tx.us/death_row/dr_scheduled_executions.html
     
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