Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Clock is Ticking for Humberto Leal (UPDATED: APPEAL DENIED)

All eyes are on Texas today as the clock is ticking for Humberto Leal.  I posted on his case here, prompted by this post at Pecan Corner.

As it sits right now, Leal could be executed any time after 6 p.m. unless Gov. Rick Perry issues a stay.  That looks unlikely, but you never know:

“Texas is not bound by a foreign court’s ruling,” Katherine Cesinger, press secretary for Gov. Perry's office, said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the treaty was not binding on the states and that the president does not have the authority to order states to review cases of the then 51 foreign nationals on death row in the U.S.”

"The treaty" to which she refers is the 1963 United Nations enforced Viennea Convention on Consular Relations

"Leal’s argument is nothing but a transparent attempt to evade his impending punishment,” Stephen Hoffman, an assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, said in a brief to Supreme Court, according to AP.

I could be wrong, but I don't see Rick Perry caving on this.

Update  5:00 p.m.:  Via Fox News :

Despite pleas from the White House and United Nations, the Supreme Court turns down request to delay the Texas execution of a Mexican national convicted of rape and murder — set to die tonight.

More from Fox:

The U.S. Supreme Court said, “We have no authority to stay an execution in light of an “appeal of the President,” presenting free-ranging assertions of foreign policy consequences, when those assertions come unaccompanied by a persuasive legal claim.”

An hour before the 6 p.m. scheduled execution, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has yet to make a decision regarding whether to stay the execution, a spokeswoman said.

Don't mess with Texas.

Update 2Here is the SCOTUS decision smacking down the White House appeal.  On the claim that Leal's execution might cause problems for foreigners arrested abroad:

"The United States and JUSTICE BREYER complain of the grave international consequences that will follow from Leal’s execution. Post, at 4. Congress evidently did not find these consequences sufficiently grave to prompt its enactment of implementing legislation, and we will follow the law as written by Congress."

Update 3:  And the deed is done:

A Mexican national was executed Thursday for the rape-slaying of a teenager after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a White House-supported appeal to spare him in a death penalty case where Texas justice triumphed over international treaty concerns.

Humberto Leal, 38, received lethal injection for the 1994 murder of Adria Sauceda. She was fatally bludgeoned with a piece of asphalt.

Leal was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. EDT (2221 GMT).

From Twitter - says it all:

Memeorandum thread here.


Sarah said...

And he shouldn't cave either!

Sarah said...

So glad!! That was the biggest bunch of bull I've ever heard. Leal has been in this country longer than I have.

And had Rick Perry sided with Obama, we'd have freakin' Mitt Romney '12.

If anyone is even paying attention to this and not Casey Anthony.

MikeAT said...

Thank you Governor Perry...this won't bring back the dead..but they will sleep a little better