06 July 2011

Will Texas execute a Mexican national tomorrow?

Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., a Mexican national, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection by the State of Texas tomorrow, July 7.

He was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl. Having been found guilty, punishment is warranted. But not the death penalty in this case.

That is because Texas cut legal corners in the case. Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, international arrestees are entitled to help from the consulate of their home country. But Leal didn't find that out until he was already sitting on death row.

Texas is obviously not interested in true justice. They're just interested in procedural expediency. And so they have ignored mitigating evidence in Leal's clemency petition that the jury never heard during trial and sentencing, and that Leal (like so many other non-rich, non-white criminal defendants in this country) had inadequate and ineffective legal representation.

According to the Los Angeles Times, "The International Court of Justice has called on the United States to review Leal's case, as well as the cases of other Mexican nationals who were never told of their rights under the treaty."

Not good enough for Texas.

Even former President George W. Bush (who, while Governor of Texas, and under the influence of Alberto Gonzales, seemed to just love signing death warrants while ignoring mitigating evidence) called on Texas to comply with the Convention.

Not good enough for today's Texas.

So the Obama administration also called for a review of the case. According to the Telegraph (UK), "The Obama administration, adopting a similar stance to the one taken by President George W Bush's, believes executing Leal could endanger Americans abroad who are also entitled to consular assistance under the Vienna Convention."

Still apparently not good enough for Texas.

How you can help:

Click here to call on Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Leal's sentence.

Please hurry.

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