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Mexico Seeks Retrial for Citizens on U.S. Death Row
Reuters ^ | December 15, 2003 | Christopher Borowski

Posted on 12/15/2003 3:33:20 PM PST by yonif

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Mexico asked the World Court Monday to order the United States to retry 52 Mexicans on death row because it says they were not told of their right to consular help after being arrested.

The case is the result of a long-running dispute between the United States and its southern neighbor and underlines deep concern among some of Washington's closest allies over its capital punishment laws.

"We are asking the court to tell the United States to retry these nationals, but this time with the consular assistance they are entitled to," said Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, chief legal representative for Mexico.

"Consular help could have meant the difference between life and death," lawyer Sandra Babcock told the judges as the Mexican side made its opening arguments.

Mexico accuses U.S. authorities of breaching the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to tell the Mexicans -- subsequently sentenced to death in 10 U.S. states -- of their right to assistance from their national representatives.

Robledo said Mexico was not contesting the legal grounds for the death penalty in the case, which applies to all Mexican death row prisoners with full citizenship.

Mexico went to The Hague-based International Court of Justice or World Court because all other legal and diplomatic efforts to solve the issue had been exhausted, an official said.

U.S. representatives declined to comment ahead of their opening statements Tuesday.

Over the last several years 55 Mexicans, all of whom received consular assistance, avoided the death penalty, Mexico's legal team said.

In February, the World Court ordered the United States to stay executions of three Mexicans deemed in imminent danger and reserved the right to intervene in dozens more cases.

According to Amnesty International statistics, a total of 71 prisoners were executed in the United States last year, bringing to 820 the total number of prisoners put to death since the resumption of capital punishment there in 1977.

The death penalty has not been applied in Mexico for at least four decades. Though the military still hands down the sentence, recent presidents have reduced it to long jail terms.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Mexico; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; deathrow; mexico

1 posted on 12/15/2003 3:33:20 PM PST by yonif
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To: yonif
Maybe if Mexico would stop sending the US its degenerates and criminals, there wouldn't be this problem.
2 posted on 12/15/2003 3:36:33 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well....there you go again...")
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To: yonif
...because it says they were not told of their right to consular help after being arrested.

Um, if the Mexicans had come across the border legally, they would be entitled to Consular services from the country of origin. When an ILLEGAL Mexican commits a felony (ie. murder), the individual has by his actions acted outside the law by invading foreign soil, and furthermore committed a felony while doing so. Therefore, they forfeit their legal rights.

3 posted on 12/15/2003 3:39:18 PM PST by Hodar (With Rights, comes Responsibilities. Don't assume one, without assuming the other.)
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To: My2Cents
Good point!!!, worth more than 2cents- I do know this to be a fact- a true remark. My Mexican neighbors, some of them put to death neighbors, and then RAN to the USA. Of course there are hundreds of Americans running from the law as they know they won't be extradited to face murder charges as long as their is a death penalty. So goes Justice in these parts!
4 posted on 12/15/2003 3:39:23 PM PST by rovenstinez
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To: yonif
Screw you Mexican gov't pieces of sh*t!!

What about the Americans currently languishing in your jail cells without even the right to a speedy trial. FOAD Motherf*ckers! Apologies to the forum but this makes my blood boil.

5 posted on 12/15/2003 3:42:41 PM PST by Looking4Truth
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To: Looking4Truth
You have to remember ---- most of those on death row here are cop killers and drug smugglers ---- the drug cartels pay big money to their politicians for protection ---- so that's what the politicians are doing. Like they sing in their songs "Los Pinos me da sombra".
6 posted on 12/15/2003 4:56:43 PM PST by FITZ
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To: Looking4Truth
Couldn't have said it any better m'self.
7 posted on 12/15/2003 5:04:44 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Hodar
The problem is that Mexico is not the only government accusing USA of violating Vienna convention. Germany, Poland and several other countries have raised the same problem in the past. And as far as I remember at least in some of these cases the people concerend were certainly legal immigrants (one Polish citizen whose case I remember even served in the US Army).

SCOTUS ruled on that issue few years ago (in a case concerning citizen of one of South American countries) in favor of US position but it was divided ruling (admittedly liberals were against if memory serves me well - Breyer was one of the dissenters). Also the Polish guy case was decided by the State Supreme Court in Illinois, again in favor of US position and again in a very divided ruling over very spirited dissents.

Plus I never heard of US government accusing other countries of violating Vienna convention against US citizens. So prehaps this issue is not so simple.
8 posted on 12/15/2003 7:39:36 PM PST by JackTom
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