Friday, August 08, 2008 Janet M. LaRue New York Times Bemoans Killerâs Execution âTexas Executes Mexican Despite Objections.â Youâd think that Texas had executed some poor, honest, hard-working, migrant farm worker for not having a Green Card. The Aug. 6, Times column by James C. McKinley Jr, has more holes than our southern border. After 14 years on death row, Texas executed convicted murderer JosÃ© Ernesto MedellÃn on Aug. 5. After numerous reviews by Texas courts and two in the U.S. Supreme Court, MedellÃnâs final due process hearing is in the hands of the Supreme Judge Upstairs. The sordid story begins in Houston, Tex., on June 24, 1993, when MedellÃn and five fellow gang-bangers spent an hour repeatedly raping, sodomizing, and stomping to death Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth PenÃ¡, ages 14 and 16, before dumping their bodies in the woods. MedellÃn personally strangled one of the girls with her shoelaces. Arrested five days later, he signed a confession after being given his Miranda rights. McKinley doesnât mention what MedellÃn did that got him executed until after he quotes MedellÃnâs last words to those present at his execution: âIâm sorry my actions caused you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek. Never harbor hate.â You just shudder to think how bad rape, sodomy, forced oral copulation, stomping, strangulation and death would be if motivated by hate. What concerns the Timesâ McKinley most is addressed in his opening line. âTexasâ acted, he claims, âin defiance of an international court ruling and despite pleas from the Bush administration for a new hearing.â Notice that itâs an âinternational court rulingâ that Texas supposedly defied, not the laws or courts of the United States. McKinley doesnât explain why Texasâ refusal to comply with an order of a foreign court, which lacks the force and effect of domestic law, is âdefiance.â After Texas courts upheld MedellÃnâs conviction and sentence, Mexico filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on behalf of MedellÃn and 50 other Mexicans on death row in various states, who were not advised upon detention of their ârightâ to consult the Mexican Consulate as provided under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Treaty). MedellÃn claimed that he was a citizen of Mexico, that he had informed law enforcement officials of his Mexican citizenship when he was arrested, but that they failed to inform him of his âright to contact the Mexican Consulate.â The ICJ ruled in 2004 that the United States should reopen and reconsider the cases in order to comply with the Treaty. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that âcontrary to the ICJâs determination, the Vienna Convention did not preclude the application of state default rules.â Following that decision, President George W. Bush issued a memorandum to the U.S. Attorney General stating that the United States would âdischarge its international obligationsâ under Avena âby having State courts give effect to the decision.â Based on the ICJ ruling and the Presidentâ memorandum, MedellÃn filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The court held that MedellÃnâs attorneys raised the issue too late; therefore, its procedural rules prohibited another review. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that decision by a 6-3 vote on March 25, 2008. The Court held that the Treaty ratified by the U.S. in 1969 could not bind the states without enabling legislation enacted by Congress. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. noted that neither the defendant nor his supporters âhave identified a single nation that treats ICJ judgments as binding in domestic courts.â Justice John Paul Stevens joined in the Courtâs judgment, and acknowledged that Congress hadnât enacted enabling legislation. Even so, he wanted Texas to grant MedellÃn another hearing even though the chance that he was prejudiced by the Treaty violation was âremote.â On Aug. 5, the Supreme Court rejected MedellÃnâs final request for a stay of execution in a 5-4 ruling. The unsigned opinion calls the possibility of Congressional action to implement the treaty too remote to justify a stay. McKinley, and other Times columnists whoâve written extensively about MedellÃn, fail to mention some key facts about his all-American background. Author Corey Mitchell includes them in his recently released book about MedellÃn, Pure Murder, and on his âIn Cold Blogâ post, âMedia botches Jose MedellÃn execution coverageâ: * After examining âthousands of pages of court documents including motions, court proceedings, and confessions from all six defendants in this case. I never once came across any documentation that MedellÃn ever made such a claim [of being a Mexican citizen.]â * His parents âlegally migrated to the United States and filed the proper paperwork to become naturalized citizens. Joeâs parents then sent for their young boy to come to Houston, however, they simply failed to file the proper paperwork on his behalf.â * At the time of the murders, âJoe MedellÃn had already spent more than half of his life in the United States. He benefited from the Houston Independent School Districtâs educational system and was considered an outstanding student at Holden Elementary where he excelled in science and math. * MedellÃn spoke English fluently, and had a valid Texas driverâs license when arrested. * âMedellÃn never once proclaimed that he was a Mexican citizen after any of his many previous arrests.â And then there are those âobjectionsâ to MedellÃnâs execution McKinley mentioned. What he doesnât mention is that the good folks in Mexico are protesting Mexicoâs lack of a death penalty to deter murderous gangs like MedellÃnâs who are terrorizing Mexican people daily. According to the AP: âMexicans struggling with increasingly gruesome crimes at home devoted the least attention in recent memory to the execution of one of their citizens in Texas. â¦ Some Mexicans on Wednesday even called for the death penalty at home.â Hereâs another question for the amnesty gang at the Times. In light of MedellÃnâs background, if he had faced deportation instead of execution, would the Times portray him as a citizen of Mexico? Or, would its headline read, âBush Seeks Deportation of Mexican-Americanâ?