The world court and President Bush tried and failed to stop the execution of illegal alien Death Row killer Jose Medellin.
Texas told ’em to bug off–and the Supreme Court backed Texas.
“Texas. It’s like a whole other country.”
Coined to promote tourism, that wry verbal wink at the state’s mythic image has assumed a literal meaning as Texas finds itself in defiance of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and national leaders in its planned Tuesday execution of Mexican citizen Jose Medellin.
Unless the U.S. Supreme Court or Gov. Rick Perry acts in his favor, Medellin, 33, will die for the 1993 rape-strangulation of two teenage Houston girls, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña.
Jennifer’s father, Randy Ertman, dismissed international opposition to the execution.
“It’s just a last-ditch effort to keep the scumbag breathing,” Ertman said. “He never should have been breathing in the first place. I don’t care, I really don’t care what anyone thinks about this except Texas. I love Texas. Texas is in my blood.”
At issue is Texas’ refusal to hold a hearing to determine whether Medellin’s defense was harmed by his inability to confer with Mexican consular officials at the time of his arrest. A suspect’s right to talk with his consulate is guaranteed by the United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which the United States is a party.
Medellin insists he told both Houston police and Harris County officers that he is a Mexican citizen. Prosecutors say the killer never informed authorities of his nationality.
In a sworn statement, Medellin said he learned that the Mexican Consulate could possibly help him in 1997, four years after his arrest. He unsuccessfully petitioned the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on the issue in 1998.
In 2004, the U.N.’s world court, responding to a Mexican lawsuit against the United States, ordered that hearings be held for Medellin and dozens of other inmates denied their consular rights. In 2005, President Bush called for the hearings to be held. Texas challenged the decision, and the Supreme Court determined that only Congress could mandate such action. In July, the world court ordered Medellin’s execution be stayed.
The proper response? Murder victim Jennifer Ertman’s father, Randy, says its all:
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“The world court don’t mean diddly. This business belongs in the state of Texas … the rest of them can go to hell.”
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