Friday, October 19, 2007


The International Court of Justice at The Hague was established to settle legal disputes between the world's nations. This court is commonly referred to as the "World Court" and it is supposed to settle major issues such as border disputes between two countries. When it was established, there was no intent for the court to interfere in any nation's domestic affairs.

Mexico, whose most profitable export is that of its citizens who daily enter the United States illegally, does not have a death penalty. Our southern neighbor is upset with us because we have sentenced a number of its citizens to death for murdering our citizens in cold blood. Almost all of the condemned were illegal aliens. Mexico went to the World Court to claim that the condemned were deprived of their rights under the 1963 treaty known as the Vienna Convention.

According to the Vienna Convention, whenever a citizen of a foreign country is arrested he must be advised of his right to obtain the assistance of his country's consulate. Most of the Mexicans who have been sentenced to death were not advised of their right to consular assistance. Local authorities did not intentionally violate the Vienna Convention - they just did not know anything about that treaty.

The World Court ageed with Mexico and ruled that our state courts must review the death sentences of all Mexicans who were not advised of their right to consular assistance. As a result, Texas is now fighting the Bush administration in the United States Supreme Court over the President's demand that it stay the execution of Jose Medellin and a dozen other Mexican murderers who have been condemned to death.

The President asserts that each of the states are obligated to abide by the Vienna Convention to which the United States is a signatory. Medellin and a dozen other Mexicans on Texas' death row were denied their rights under that treaty because the local police failed to notify them that they were entitled to obatin the assistance of the Mexican consulate. The President's remedy for the treaty violation is to force the state courts to review the convictions and death sentences of more than 50 Mexican murderers.

Appearing before the Supreme Court, the Texas Solicitor General contended that if the Bush administration were to prevail, it would give the President unprecedented power over the courts and the World Court authority over our laws. He told the Justices that no other nation, including Mexico, would allow American citizens in their custody to use their court systems to enforce rulings by the World Court.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide this issue in the coming summer. Antonin Scalia, the court's most conservative member appeared to side against the World Court while its most liberal justices, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg indicated that our state courts were obligated to abide by that international court's ruling. President Bush, who has managed to alienate much of the world against the United States, is now alienating many of our own states for siding with the World Court.

Overlooked in this whole sordid affair is the object of Mexico's ire - the death sentence of its sterling citizen, Jose Medellin. Poor old Jose was convicted of participating in the brutal gang rape and murder of two Houston teenage girls. There have never been any questions as to Medellin's guilt, only questions about his rights.

During the more than 12 years this "puke" has been sitting on death row, there have already been several appellate court rullings against him on the consular issue. Medellin should have been "topped" (con lingo for executed) years ago. Mr. President, what about Medellin's victims and their loved ones? Justice delayed is justice denied.

No comments: