2017-11-07 23:25:10 UTC
Efforts fail to halt execution of Mexican----Government calls Texas execution
an 'illegal act,' citing international
Mexico had vowed to exhaust all efforts to prevent the execution tomorrow of a
Mexican inmate on death row in a Texas prison but now it appears those efforts
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles today voted unanimously against a
recommendation to the governor to halt the execution of Mexican national Rubén
In 2 votes that went 6-0, the board voted against recommending that Governor
Greg Abbott postpone the inmate’s death by lethal injection and that his
sentence not be commuted.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs official Carlos Sada told a press conference
yesterday in Mexico City that Texas prosecutors did not follow due process in
the case of the 47-year-old Cárdenas, who was sentenced to death for raping and
killing his 15-year-old cousin in 1997.
“From the start, there has been a failure, and from our perspective, this is an
illegal act,” Sada said of the execution.
The foreign affairs undersecretary for North America said Cárdenas was not
given the opportunity to speak with Mexican consular officials, a violation of
the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The inmate is one of 51 Mexican prisoners on death row in the U.S. who were the
subject of a 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice that the U.S.
had violated international law for not informing them of their right to
The court ordered a review of those cases.
Sada also said Mexico would seek to overturn how Cárdenas’ confession was
obtained, and look to exonerate him with up-to-date DNA testing, Reuters
His lawyer has alleged that Cárdenas didn’t commit the crime. The Laredo
Morning Times reported last week that the case has been plagued by claims of
unreliable forensic evidence, conflicting statements and witnesses, concerns
about ineffective lawyers, and allegations of a coerced confession.
But Texas prosecutor Ted Hake said the international court’s ruling is “not
enforceable” and there is no mechanism in Texas to hold the review it ordered.
Besides which, he said, “This guy is guilty as sin.”
It is not the first time Mexico and the U.S. have clashed over the execution of
Mexican nationals on U.S. soil because there is no death penalty in Mexico.
The case is yet another irritant for troubled Mexico-U.S. relations, already
hurt by President Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall and his threats to
pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“It is as if the United States were thumbing its nose at the government of
Mexico and the United Nations,” said Sandra Babcock, a Cornell Law School
professor specializing in international issues surrounding capital punishment.
“And when I say the U.S., I should be clear that we’re talking about Texas.”
Unless the Texas governor chooses to grant a 30-day postponement, Cárdenas will
die tomorrow at 6:00pm.
(source: Mexico News Daily)
Executions under Greg Abbott, Jan. 21, 2015-present----26
Executions in Texas: Dec. 7, 1982----present-----544
Abbott#--------scheduled execution date-----name------------Tx. #
27---------Nov. 8------------------Ruben Cardenas---------545
28---------Dec. 14-----------------Juan Castillo----------546
29---------Jan. 18-----------------Anthony Shore----------547
30---------Jan. 30-----------------William Rayford--------548
31----------Feb. 1-----------------John Battaglia---------549
32----------Feb. 22----------------Thomas Whitaker--------550
(sources: TDCJ & Rick Halperin)
Upcoming Executions Demonstrate Irreparable Failings of the Death Penalty
3 executions set for this week all demonstrate the irreparable failings of the
death penalty, experts from Amnesty International USA said today.
“3 states are set to put prisoners to death this week, and every single one of
these cases raises disturbing questions about the fairness of the legal
proceedings that put them on death row,” said Kristina Roth, senior program
officer for criminal justice programs at Amnesty International USA. “These
cases show that there is no justifiable way for the state to put a prisoner to
death. The death penalty system is irrevocably broken and should be done away
with for good.”
Prisoners scheduled for execution this week are:
Patrick Hannon, who has been on death row in Florida for over 26 years, or more
than half of his life. Hannon’s co-defendants received lighter sentences due in
part to what two Florida Supreme Court judges attributed to ineffective
counsel. Hannon is scheduled to be put to death on November 8;
Ruben Cárdenas Ramírez is a Mexican national who was denied consular assistance
as was his right under the law and interrogated without counsel for days
despite asking for a lawyer. He has also been denied requests for DNA testing
that could exonerate him. He is scheduled to be put to death in Texas on
November 8 as well.
Jack Greene’s execution was scheduled this August when the state of Arkansas
was able to obtain fresh supplies of the lethal injection drug midazolam. His
would be the first execution since the state sought to execute eight prisoners
in 11 days this past spring before the last supply of the drug expired,
resulting in four executions taking place. Greene has been diagnosed with a
psychotic disorder and his lawyers say he is not competent enough to know why
he is being put to death.
(source: Amnesty International USA)
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu
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