Texas judge sets execution date for Mexican national at center of ICJ case

[JURIST] A Texas court Monday set the execution date for Mexican national and Texas prisoner Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder; JURIST news archive] for August 5, after the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] in March that President George W. Bush did not have the authority to direct state courts to comply with a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] granting new court hearings. The government of Mexico and Medellin's lawyers had requested that the judge hold off on setting an execution date, but Judge Caprice Cosper scheduled the lethal injection after refusing to allow a legal adviser to the Mexican Foreign Secretary speak before the court.

Medellin, a Mexican national sentenced to death for raping and murdering two teenage girls, had appealed a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals November 2006 ruling [text; JURIST report] that Bush had "exceeded his constitutional authority" by ordering state court rehearings [JURIST report] for 51 Mexican nationals, including Medellin, convicted in US courts. The president's February 2005 memorandum [text] instructed the Texas courts to follow a March 2004 ICJ decision [materials] that held that Medellin and the other Mexican nationals tried in US courts had been denied their right under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [PDF text] to contact the Mexican consulate for legal assistance and that the US was obligated to grant review and reconsideration of their convictions and sentences. AP has more.



 

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