Obama Seeks Stay Of Execution in Texas
Yesterday President Obama asked Texas Governor Rick Perry for a stay of execution on behalf of Mexican national and convicted rapist /murderer Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. citing procedural error and damage to global relations as the reason for his request.
President Obama's request is the latest, The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, diplomats, judges, former President George W. Bush, and retired military officials have all asked Governor Perry to stay the execution to no avail.
This is not a question of Garcia’s guilt; it’s the omission of informing him he could contact his consulate when he was arrested. The Vienna Conventions 170 country treaty on consular relations clearly states a foreign national arrested has the right to contact their consulate; even Iran allowed the American hikers accused of espionage a brief meeting with the American consulate following their arrest.
In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled the US was in violation of the consular relations treaty sentencing 54 Mexican nationals to death without letting them contact their consulate. President George W. ordered Texas to review its policies, unfortunately in 2008 the US Supreme Court ruled in the favor of Texas by declaring no state has to follow the consular relations treaty unless Congress passes a law mandating them to do so.
Passage of the aforementioned law is what President Obama is requesting the stay for. In the opinion of the president and officials following this case “irreparable harm” to global relationships will be the outcome if Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. is executed before a congressional vote. In its defense Texas is claiming Mr. Garcia incriminated himself before he was in custody, therefore nullifying their obligation to allow contact with the Mexican consulate.
US citizens arrested abroad could face similar treatment if Texas goes forward with this execution. American Military personnel currently serving overseas are already at risk of being arrested by a foreign government this execution would increase their peril exponentially.
Our countries zeal to enforce the laws and punishments our courts hand out should not override an international treaty signed in good faith. It is our duty as global citizens to mean what we say, comply with what we sign and show the world this is not a do what I say not as I do country.