Texas defies calls to delay execution of Mexican

Texas appeared set last night to proceed with the execution today of Humberto Leal Garcia Jnr, rebuffing requests for a delay from defence lawyers, the White House and the State Department.

The Mexican government has joined the chorus admonishing Texas, arguing that regardless of the guilt or innocence of Leal – who was convicted of raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl in 1994 by bludgeoning her with a slab of asphalt – the state is in violation of the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations, which requires foreign nationals have access to their consulates when taken into custody in another country.

Barack Obama has also exhorted the Supreme Court to intervene with a warning from the Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, that the execution threatened US relations with Mexico. The State Department urged Governor Rick Perry to postpone the execution, pointing out that denying these rights to foreigners in the United States could lead to American citizens being treated similarly overseas.

With hours to go until the fatal injection is to be administered, the struggle over Leal became more tangled, pitting Texas against Washington – and Washington against Mexico and the United Nations.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that the US was in violation of the Vienna Convention in respect to about 50 Mexicans awaiting execution in the US. George W Bush, who was then President, ordered Texas to comply but the state refused.

"The violation of the Vienna Convention in Mr Leal's case was no mere technicality," Sandra Babcock, the lead defence lawyer, said. "The Mexican consulate would have provided experienced and highly qualified attorneys who would have challenged the prosecution's reliance on junk science to obtain a conviction."

She said Leal was never told of his right to phone his consulate.

The Supreme Court has so far declined to intervene in the case after ruling three years ago that it would require Congress to oblige Texas to obey the Vienna Accord. Last month, Senator Patrick Leahy introduced such legislation, but it has not yet passed. The White House is asking that the execution be delayed until January.

But there is little sign Mr Perry, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, will pay attention to the outside pressure.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea