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The QueQue

The QueQue: Tar sands to Houston, So long, ocelots, Secure Communities: backdooring national IDs, Leal execution violates international law

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

FBI rendering of biometrics


The Obama administration and others had asked Texas officials and the High Court to delay Leal’s execution so Congress could consider legislation that would require courts to review the cases of foreign death row inmates convicted without receiving legal help from their consulates. Leal, convicted in 1995 for the brutal rape and murder of a Southside San Antonio teenager, never received consular access during the initial trial and punishment phase of his case, a violation of a critical international convention granting consular access to foreigners arrested abroad.

In a statement Friday, Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called the execution a “breach of international law,” saying Leal’s lack of consular assistance calls into question whether he ever got a fair trial. “What the state of Texas has done in this case is imputable in law to the U.S. and engages the United States’ international responsibility,” she said.

Leal apologized and accepted responsibility for the death moments before his execution, the Associated Press reported, and twice shouted “Viva Mexico!” as the drugs began to take effect. •

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