Texas executes second foreign national since ICJ order

[JURIST] Convicted murderer Heliberto Chi [Texas materials; docket information] on Thursday became the second foreign national to be put to death [Proceso Digital report, in Spanish] in Texas since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] ordered [press release and text] the US to stay such executions. The US Supreme Court refused to grant [AP report; PDF order] either a stay or certiorari just hours before the Honduran man was executed at 6 pm local time. Lawyers for the Honduran government have argued that Chi was improperly prevented from contacting his government in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [PDF text]. Last month, lawyers for Mexico made a similar argument [JURIST report] before the ICJ to block the execution [JURIST report] of Mexican citizen Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which took place on Tuesday. The Houston Chronicle has local coverage.

The governor of Texas announced his refusal to comply [JURIST report] with the ICJ order last month. In March, the US Supreme Court ruled [decision; JURIST report] in Medellin v. Texas [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report] that neither a 2005 memorandum [text; JURIST report] from President Bush ordering Texas to rehear several cases against Mexican nationals nor the March 2004 ICJ decision [materials] were binding on Texas officials who had refused to rehear Medellin's case. Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed Chi's lethal injection execution [JURIST report] while the US Supreme Court considered Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; JURIST report], a case reviewing whether lethal injection is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.