Mexican facing execution in US appeals to Supreme CourtA Mexican convicted of murder in Texas has appealed to the US Supreme Court to stay his execution set for Tuesday so lawmakers can enforce an International Court of Justice order to halt his and other Mexicans' executions.
Jose Ernesto Medellin, convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of a teenager, is among 51 Mexicans on death row their government has complained were not informed of their right to consular con·sul
n. Abbr. Con. or Cons.
1. An official appointed by a government to reside in a foreign country and represent his or her government's commercial interests and assist its citizens there. See Usage Note at council. access and assistance during trial, under the Vienna Convention Vienna Convention
Common name for the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. They are a body of law governing the international sale of goods between parties domiciled in member countries. .
The ICJ ICJ
International Court of Justice in 2004 ordered that all the prisoners should have their sentences reviewed, and on July 16 granted an urgent request by Mexico that the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. try to halt the imminent execution of five Mexicans, including Medellin.
Since the 2004 ruling, some US states have agreed to review their death row cases at President George W. Bush's request.
But Texas has refused, arguing -- with the support of a March US Supreme Court ruling -- that its state courts, which decided the Medellin case, are not bound by the ICJ treaty.
That left the federal government with no legal tools to force Texas to put off the execution.
On Friday the Texas court of appeals turned down a stay of execution request by Medellin's lawyers, forcing them into a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court.
Their hope is that the Supreme Court will issue a stay of execution that would give the US Congress time to pass a new law that can force individual states like Texas to abide by To stand to; to adhere; to maintain.
See also: Abide ICJ decisions.
The House of Representatives took up such a bill after the ICJ's July 16 ruling, and if it is passed, a Texas senator said he would do his best to have his state adopt the law next year.
"Should Texas execute Mr Medellin before Congress has a reasonable opportunity to convert the (ICJ) judgment into a justifiable jus·ti·fi·a·ble
Having sufficient grounds for justification; possible to justify: justifiable resentment.
jus federal right, the State of Texas will forever deprive de·prive
1. To take something from someone or something.
2. To keep from possessing or enjoying something. Mr Medellin of his constitutionally protected right not to be deprived of his life without a due process of law," his lawyers told the Supreme Court in their motion this week.
They asked the high court "to ensure that its judgment has its intended effect of guiding the political branches to a constitutionally permissible per·mis·si·ble
Permitted; allowable: permissible tax deductions; permissible behavior in school.
per·mis method of complying with the nation's treaty obligations."
Human Rights Watch, in a weekend statement, said that "executing Jose Medellin in violation of an order by the World Court would be a major step backward for the rule of law."
"If the United States ignores its legal obligations in this case, it will be tough to argue that other countries should respect the rights of US citizens," it added.