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Mexico asks ICJ to stay US executions, says cases entitled to review

[JURIST] Mexico urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] Thursday to stay the US executions [press release, PDF] of Mexican citizens until the Court can rule on the applicability of its holding in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) [ICJ materials], in which the ICJ ruled that 51 Mexican nationals tried in US courts had been denied their right under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [PDF text] to contact their consulate for legal assistance, and that the US was obligated to grant review and reconsideration of their cases. In the case of Mexican national and Texas prisoner Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder; JURIST news archive], the US Supreme Court ruled that President Bush has no authority to direct state compliance [JURIST report] with Avena. AP has more.

Medellin was sentenced to death for raping and murdering two teenage girls, and is scheduled to be executed [JURIST report] on August 5. He appealed a 2006 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling [text; JURIST report] that Bush had "exceeded his constitutional authority" by ordering state court rehearings [JURIST report] for the 51 Mexican nationals convicted in US courts. The President's February 2005 memorandum [text] instructed the Texas courts to follow Avena.

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