Thursday, July 7, 2011

Texas executes Mexican national despite plea from Obama and others

Texas, execution, Mexican, Obama, Crime, Penalty
Texas executed a Mexican national over objections from President Barack Obama's administration that the action would violate international treaty obligations and put US citizens abroad at risk.

In a case that garnered international attention, the US Supreme Court rejected a last-minute stay of execution on the grounds that Humberto Leal Garcia was not told of his right to diplomatic counsel when arrested.

Leal Garcia, 38, was pronounced dead after he was given a lethal injection at a prison in Huntsville, Texas.

Leal Garcia, who had lived in the United States since he was an infant, was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl and bludgeoning her to death with a piece of asphalt in 1994.

In a last statement provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Leal Garcia apologised to the victim's family and asked for their forgiveness.

"I truly am sorry. That is all. Let's get this show on the road," Leal Garcia said, according to the transcript. "One more thing, Viva Mexico Viva Mexico."

The Obama administration warned that executing Leal Garcia would violate the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and leave US citizens travelling abroad at higher risk of arrest without cause or denial of diplomatic representation.


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