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U.S. Quits Accord on Diplomatic Access to Inmates
Reuters ^ | 03/10/05

Posted on 03/10/2005 7:11:07 AM PST by nypokerface

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has withdrawn from an international agreement that gives jailed foreigners the right to talk to consular officers, a protocol that critics of capital punishment used to win reviews of death sentences given to 51 Mexicans jailed here.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher confirmed a report in the Washington Post on Thursday that the United States had decided to pull out of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

"All these people have the right to raise their issues in court," Boucher told reporters traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a trip to Mexico, which opposes U.S. death penalty policies.

Boucher said that given some of the interpretations made by the World Court "we didn't want any more of them."

Rice had notified U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, in a letter dated March 7, that the United States "hereby withdraws" from the protocol, the Post reported.

In recent years, other countries with support from U.S. death penalty opponents have successfully complained before the World Court that their citizens were sentenced to death by U.S. states without access to diplomats from their own nations.

The optional protocol gives the World Court, which is also known as the International Court of Justice, the final word when detainees say they have been denied the right to see a diplomat from their country.

President Bush agreed in late February to comply with a year-old World Court decision that the United States should review the cases of 51 Mexican death row inmates because U.S. officials failed to tell them of their right to speak to consular officers right after their arrests.

The U.S. government previously left it up to the states to decide what to do in the cases of the 51 Mexicans.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on March 28 in the case of Mexican Jose Medellin who was convicted of murder during a sexual assault and sentenced to death in 1994 in Texas.

His case has drawn wide attention in Mexico, where Rice meets on Thursday with Mexican President Vicente Fox.

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government

1 posted on 03/10/2005 7:11:08 AM PST by nypokerface
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To: nypokerface

We do not need other countries telling us how to run our jails or court system. Our liberal judges do enough of that.

2 posted on 03/10/2005 7:18:18 AM PST by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: nypokerface

Wait....does this mean that American jailed abroad will also have no guaranteed access to US diplomats?

If so, what a dumb idea.

3 posted on 03/10/2005 7:19:57 AM PST by johnmilken (75% of my posts are proved wrong within 10 minutes...)
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To: nypokerface
What this means then is that Americans who are jailed in foreign countries no longer have the right to demand to speak to their counsular officials. This is a bad idea. Better we observe this protocol than bow out of it. These guys would have been convicted regardless of whether they'd talked to their consulate or not, and everyone (even Vincente Fox) seems to understand that. So let's do a better job, not get out entirely.
4 posted on 03/10/2005 7:20:14 AM PST by RonF
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To: johnmilken

No it does not. This is a seperate protocall.

Already only 30% of nations that sign the overall agreement (which provides for what you mentin) sign on to this particular addition which was being exploited to allow forign courts to overrule US courts.

5 posted on 03/10/2005 7:22:24 AM PST by FreedomNeocon (.)
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To: RonF

Check the AP 'version', they expliain it a *bit* better.

Getting out of this additional protocall does not do what you infer.

6 posted on 03/10/2005 7:23:56 AM PST by FreedomNeocon (.)
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To: JohnHuang2; keri; international american; Kay Soze; jpsb; hershey; TomInNJ; dagnabbit; Pro-Bush; ...

(Which one is higher?)


President Bush agreed in late February to comply with a year-old World Court decision that the United States should review the cases of 51 Mexican death row inmates because U.S. officials failed to tell them of their right to speak to consular officers right after their arrests.

7 posted on 03/10/2005 7:25:01 AM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government *IS* the problem.)
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To: FreedomNeocon

I have to like that they chose to do this while Secretary Rice was in Mexico. Seems a little in-your-face to ol' Vicente, doesn't it?

8 posted on 03/10/2005 7:25:57 AM PST by johnb838 ("You Have Ruled, Now Let Us See You Enforce" Need some wood?)
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To: nypokerface
Why don't we just release them to the World Court and let them deal with the murderers - in Amsterdam.

Heather Mac Donald

"in Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens."


The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave
Heather Mac Donald

Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.

The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.

But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The nonstop increase of immigration is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal aliens and, ultimately, the very idea of national borders.

It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company. And a police official asked to violate this powerful taboo will give a strangled response—or, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner, break off communication altogether. Meanwhile, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly secure in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.

I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish Moss, about his employer’s policy on lawbreaking illegals. In September, the force arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven vicious rapes. The previous year, Miami cops had had the suspect in custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his visa overstay, a deportable offense, and so could have forestalled the rapes. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigrant population.”

Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling. Some examples:

• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central America and Mexico.

• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime analysis. The LAPD and the L.A. city attorney recently requested an injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood, targeting the 18th Street Gang and the “non–gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood for the gang. Those non–gang members are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The Mexicans pay off their transportation debts to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.

Cops and prosecutors universally know the immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the city attorney calls them, but the gang injunction is assiduously silent on the matter. And if a Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (since early 2003, absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security), he would face severe discipline for violating Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.

The ordinarily tough-as-nails former LAPD chief Daryl Gates enacted Special Order 40 in 1979—showing that even the most unapologetic law-and-order cop is no match for immigration advocates. The order prohibits officers from “initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person”—in other words, the police may not even ask someone they have arrested about his immigration status until after they have filed criminal charges, nor may they arrest someone for immigration violations. They may not notify immigration authorities about an illegal alien picked up for minor violations. Only if they have already booked an illegal alien for a felony or for multiple misdemeanors may they inquire into his status or report him. The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.

L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you might well prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons, would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize illegal deported gang members all the time—flashing gang signs at court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the country after deportation, committing a felony (in contrast to garden-variety illegals on their first trip to the U.S., say, who are only committing a misdemeanor). “But if I see a deportee from the Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop him, such as an observed narcotics sale, can the cop accost him—but not for the immigration felony.

Though such a policy puts the community at risk, the department’s top brass brush off such concerns. No big deal if you see deported gangbangers back on the streets, they say. Just put them under surveillance for “real” crimes and arrest them for those. But surveillance is very manpower-intensive. Where there is an immediate ground for getting a violent felon off the street and for questioning him further, it is absurd to demand that the woefully understaffed LAPD ignore it.

The stated reasons for sanctuary policies are that they encourage illegal-alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with cops without fear of deportation, and that they encourage illegals to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance few illegals have contributed a single tax dollar, of course). There has never been any empirical verification that sanctuary laws actually accomplish these goals—and no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, this official rationale could be honored by limiting police use of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status police already know.

The real reason cities prohibit their cops and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The immigrant population has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating it, even at the expense of ignoring the law and tolerating violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times exposé on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos (gang members), revealed the rate of illegal-alien membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order 40. You would have thought it had suggested reconsidering Roe v. Wade. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open a significant, heated debate.” City Councilwoman Laura Chick put on a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she declared firmly.

But of course immigrant pandering trumped public safety. Law-abiding residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting up rivals outside their homes, but such anxiety can never equal a politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the reexamination process, LAPD deputy chief John White had argued that allowing the department to work closely with the INS would give cops another tool for getting gang members off the streets. Trying to build a homicide case, say, against an illegal gang member is often futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a witness’s life at risk.

But six months later, Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business,” he asserted. “It’s a federal law-enforcement issue, not a local law-enforcement issue.” Interim police chief Bayan Lewis told the L.A. Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”

9 posted on 03/10/2005 7:26:37 AM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government *IS* the problem.)
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To: nypokerface
The United States has withdrawn from an international agreement that gives jailed foreigners the right to talk to consular officers,...

As I read the article (as well as others on this subject) the headline and the statement above are not correct. It seems that the only thing that the US, and most other countries, have withdrawn from is the protocol allowing the Internationl Court Of Justice to make the final decision on compliance. We should never allow an international anything to determine what goes on within the United States.

10 posted on 03/10/2005 7:27:21 AM PST by FreePaul
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To: nypokerface

This puts Bush's decision to "review the cases of 51 Mexican death row inmates" in a different light entirely.

Bush respects the law--unlike his predecessor in office--and to refuse to review these cases would have been to change the law ex post facto. But evidently the Mexican case was the straw that broke the camel's back. So, no more protocol from now on.

Most excellent. We don't change the laws ex post facto (except for our activist judges), but the NWO regularly does. We can't afford to live under arbitrary rules that can be changed on a bureaucratic whim.

11 posted on 03/10/2005 7:28:15 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: RonF

Reuters got the story wrong.

"Ms. Jordan emphasized that the United States was not withdrawing from the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations itself, which gives people arrested abroad the right to contact their home countries' consulates. But the United States is withdrawing, she said, from an optional protocol that gives the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, jurisdiction to hear disputes under the convention.

12 posted on 03/10/2005 7:34:00 AM PST by Pikamax
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To: nypokerface

Our "friends" South of the Border love to send their criminals along with their poor illiterate brothern into our country to rip off the social benefits of U.S. citizens as well as commit their crimes within our bordes rather that in the corrupt country of their origin - MEXICO.

This is very similar to Fidel's strategy of exporting his criminals to Florida along with true vicitims of his tyranny.

The elite of Mexico love to laugh over their cleverness in screwing the United States.

13 posted on 03/10/2005 7:34:19 AM PST by hgro
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To: Pikamax; All; OXENinFLA
U.S. Says It Has Withdrawn From World Judicial Body

14 posted on 03/10/2005 7:36:56 AM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government *IS* the problem.)
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To: nypokerface
President Bush's order to Texas was unconstitutional. The President has no authority over state courts. He can't order the state NOT to enforce its own laws.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
15 posted on 03/10/2005 7:37:57 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: nypokerface

If these cases are overturned and the criminals released then the families of the victims should be permitted to hunt them down without fear of prosecution.

16 posted on 03/10/2005 8:06:38 AM PST by Bikers4Bush (Flood waters rising, heading for more conservative ground. Vote for true conservatives!)
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To: Happy2BMe

Thanks for the ping!

17 posted on 03/10/2005 8:09:15 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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