Texas will once again find itself in the national, as well as the international spotlight next month with another scheduled execution of a Mexican citizen.
Back in 2011 Texas executed a Mexican citizen, Humberto Leal for the brutal rape and murder of a 16 year old girl. The teenager supposedly drunk and high on cocaine left a block party with Leal under the pretense he was taking her home.
This case attracted national attentional because Leal was supposedly denied access to the Mexican Consulate of which, all foreign national are afforded the opportunities of their Consulate aid and help under a international treaty. While Leal eventually accepted responsibility for the murder, legal arguments took this case all the way to the Supreme Court, which refused to halt, or prolong the execution based on anticipation of Congress passing a law that would prohibit executions of foreign national.
‘Our task is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be,’ the ruling stated.
Still today, the law is what it is and not what it should be. Next month Texas is scheduled to execute another Mexican national, Edgar Arias Tamayo, who was found guilty of the murder of a Houston police officer during a trip to jail for a robbery in 1994.
Once again the very same arguments are resurfacing and once again, Texas is holding firm to State’s Rights over a World Court’s decision that’s still under review in the United States.
The State Department has even weighed in by asking Texas to reconsider the case of Tamayo, based on his denial of Consular intervention into his case.
Secretary of State John Kerry, in a letter to Governor Rick Perry and Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott offered his sentiment, but requested the state respect the Mexican Government’s and the World Court’s position:
‘I have no reason to doubt the facts of Mr. Tamayo’s conviction, and as a former prosecutor, I have no sympathy for anyone who would murder a police officer....Our consular visits help ensure U.S. citizens detained overseas have access to food and appropriate medical care, if needed, as well as access to legal representation.’
Texas contends States Rights supercedes any international agreement on behalf of the federal government and as such, all eyes next month will be upon Texas again.