UPDATE to the UPDATE: Humberto Leal was put to death this evening in Huntsville, TX. He was pronounced dead at 7:21 ET. His last words were to apologize to his family and his victim’s family for causing so much pain. Hopefully, Adria’s family can have some peace.
UPDATE: The US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to not stop the execution of Leal-Garcia. The execution is set to take place anytime after 6pm tonight (Texas time)….so….anytime now.(thanks to wannacruize for this info).
There’s a lot going on with Mexico lately. Illegal immigration laws…Fast and Furious…and now this little story. Today in Texas, Umberto Leal Garcia is scheduled to be executed for the brutal 1995 rape and murder of 16 year old Adria Sauceda. It only took the jury 45 minutes to convict him because the prosecution had a mountain of evidence against Garcia. He has been sitting on death row ever since and tonight is the big night….but there’s a slight problem. Garcia is a Mexican national…even though he has been living in the US since he was 2 years old (yes..illegal immigrant). According to the 1963 UN Vienna Treaty, foreign nationals must be informed of their right to contact the embassy if they are arrested. Garcia (a Mexican citizen) wasn’t informed of this right….and he didn’t have to be because the US doesn’t have a law that enforces the treaty domestically. Also, a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision stipulates that the legal support of a foreign government — or governments — is not required in deciding whether to execute a foreign national convicted of a capital offense. The 6-3 majority ruled that state court judges are given the discretion to decide how a sentence is carried out. This is how the US was able to execute Jose Ernesto Medellin in 2008. There is a bill currently pending in Congress that would enforce the treaty and Garcia has petitioned the Supreme Court for a stay so that the bill can pass….this would trigger a retrial for Garcia.
The Texas Board of Pardons and their Court of Criminal Appeals have already denied the stay. Last Friday, the Obama administration petitioned Texas to grant a stay until Congress can pass the bill. Of course, Gov. Rick Perry can grant the stay (but will he?).
Hmmm…what to do? No one is claiming that this monster is innocent. They want him to “get off” on a technicality. He’s an illegal immigrant who, for 36 years, has enjoyed all the benefits of a US citizen (including our justice system) but now suddenly he wants to be treated like a Mexican.
Will Texas cave to political pressure?
I sure hope not.
© 2011, Bridget. All rights reserved.
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