23 January 2014

Texas executes Mexican citizen, violates international law

On Wednesday, January 22, the state of Texas executed Edgar Arias Tamayo, who had been convicted of a 1994 murder.

But this was no ordinary execution - even for the death penalty capital of the U.S.

Tamayo was a Mexican citizen, and his attorneys argued that he was denied his right to seek help from the Mexican consulate, which may have assisted in his defense.

Psychological testing was also allegedly inadequate. As a result, said Andrea Hall, Mid Atlantic Regional Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Amnesty International USA, "the jury did not hear significant evidence of Tamayo’s intellectual disabilities, information that could well have tipped the scales towards life imprisonment."

Nevertheless, regardless of pressure from the International Criminal Court, the U.S. State Department, and elsewhere, the courts declined to stay the execution.

Hall characterized the execution as "a blatant affront to the United States' obligations under international law."

"The price [of this execution] may be much higher," she said. "We may very well have put our relationships with foreign countries, as well as the safety of Americans living and traveling overseas, at risk."

But, apparently, Texas is too bloodthirsty to care about such things.

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