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Thread: What this means to YOU
10-10-07, 08:27 PM #1
What this means to YOU
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Mexican on death row in Texas is not entitled to a new review of his case, despite an international tribunal's ruling and a directive from President George W. Bush, a lawyer for the state told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz argued Bush exceeded his authority by directing a state court to review the case of Jose Medellin, who was denied the right to meet with a consular officer from Mexico after his arrest for murder.
Several justices seemed to agree with Cruz. They expressed concern that the ruling by the International Court of Justice would be automatically binding on a state court in the United States and could not be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
"I don't know on what basis we can allow some international court to decide what is the responsibility of this court, which is the meaning of the United States law," Justice Antonin Scalia said.
The ICJ ruling in 2004 ordered the United States to review the cases of Medellin and 50 other Mexican death row inmates because they never were told of their right under the Vienna Convention to talk to consular officers after their arrests.
Bush in 2005 decided to comply with the ruling and issued a memorandum to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales directing the state courts to review the 51 cases to determine whether the violation of their rights caused the defendants any harm at trial or at sentencing.
Cruz described it as an unprecedented assertion of presidential power directed at state court judges. He said the constitutional problems would have been avoided if Congress had adopted a law that the inmates should get a review in court.
Cruz said both state and federal courts had concluded there had been no harm for Medellin from the international treaty violation.
Chief Justice John Roberts said the basis for that finding was that Medellin at the time of his arrest had been told of his rights under U.S. law, which includes the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present.
Texas has acknowledged Medellin was never told he could talk to Mexican officials. But it has argued that claim cannot be made now because he never raised it at trial or sentencing. Even if his treaty rights had been violated, it would not have made any difference in the outcome of the case, Texas said.
Medellin, a gang member, was sentenced to death in state court for the 1993 rape and murder of two teenage girls in Houston. The killings stemmed from a gang initiation.
Donald Donovan, a lawyer for Medellin, and Bush administration lawyer Paul Clement argued that Medellin should get a new review of his case.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the administration's arguments in the case in no way condone or defend "the despicable and heinous actions" of Medellin, who was convicted.
"What our point is about in this case is that the president has an authority -- needs to have an authority to ensure that the United States adheres to international treaty obligations," she told reporters.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer seemed most supportive of the argument that the international treaty and the ICJ ruling required review of Medellin's case.
Breyer said the ICJ opinion is not telling the state to set aside its procedural rules on bringing new claims.
"What they've asked you to do is to provide, by means of the United States' own choosing, review and reconsideration of the convictions and sentences by taking account of the violation of rights," he told Cruz.
A decision is expected early next year.
IF courts rule in the favor of allowing international law to trump US law think of what could happen. If International laws do not allow the death penalty to be enforced, then no more death penalty. If international law has a no weapons law to enforce then guess what no more second amendment. Now this is a ploy to break apart the us constitution and make the US a sancuary for illegals. IF a illegal or another nation national breaks the law and is arrested what they are saying is that before any questioning is to be done that they have to contact their government otherwise we cannot hold or prosecute them for the crime. Watch out we will soon be run by others than the US government which for the most part is a bad bad thing. Think of how many people in our jails would have to be released who are murderers rapists ect because local police didn't allow them to call the country that they are a citizen from
10-10-07, 08:41 PM #2The opinions of my posts are the sole responsibilty of my employer due to the fact that they have totally and completely warped my mind.
10-10-07, 10:00 PM #3
I've never contacted the Mexican consulate for any of their citizens that I've arrested. The only time I've ever had to contact a foreign gov't was when I arrested a Canadian citizen off of an airplane.The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.
10-10-07, 10:16 PM #4PeterJasonMN Guest
10-11-07, 02:27 AM #5
Maybe he should have brushed up on US law before coming here to rape and murder. Burn in hell, asshole."I'm not a coward,
I've just never been tested
I'd like to think that if I was,
I would pass"
~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~
10-11-07, 03:44 AM #6
Laughable, to say the least. Perhaps if the Government of Mexico didn't advocate and assist its people in violating a neighboring country's borders, I'd sympathize. But it doesn't, so I won't.
Mexico doesn't routinely abide by this stipulation in the Vienna Convention, either. Especially not when they are holding someone's kids for $15,000.00 ransom (bail) on a marijuana charge in Cancun. (True story).
This being a capital case, they'll make a stink out of it. Personally, I think he should have run into a 100,000 volt border fence when he tried to sneak across and been propelled back to his hovel.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
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