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August 6 2008 | UNITED STATES

Texas/USA

Texas kills José Medellin against International Right standards. Protests from Mexico, U.N., and the whole world

 
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ANSA

PENA MORTE: TEXAS CONTRO RESTO MONDO, BOIA PER MEDELLIN
STATO, FATTO IL POSSIBILE, VANO APPELLO BAN KI-MOON

NEW YORK, 6 AGO - Stato del Texas contro il resto del mondo, contro l'Onu e la Corte di Giustizia dell'Aja, e anche contro il Congresso e la stessa amministrazione Bush: lo stato della stella solitaria, capitale degli Stati Uniti in fatto di pena capitale, ha messo a morte con iniezione letale Jose Ernesto Medellin, un detenuto messicano di 33 anni al centro da cinque anni di un complicato caso internazionale.
Medellin e' stato dichiarato morto alle 21:57 ora locale, sette ore piu tardi in Italia dopo che la Corte Suprema aveva respinto il suo appello in extremis. Con questa esecuzione il Texas si e' messo contro anche le autorita' federali Usa che in questi anni, e anche nelle ultime ore, avevano chiesto alle autorita' di Austin di dare al condannato una seconda possibilita' legale.
Fino ad oggi ogni corte ad ogni livello di appello aveva respinto i ricorsi presentati da Medellin e dai suoi legali per ottenere un rinvio dell'esecuzione e dar tempo al Congresso di varare una legge che permetta al detenuto di ridiscutere il suo caso in aula. Il Dipartimento di Stato aveva fatto ''il possibile'', ha detto ieri il portavoce Kurtis Cooper richiamando un altro verdetto della Corte Suprema secondo cui il presidente non ha l'autorita' di scavalcare i poteri e la volonta' di uno stato come il Texas, sovrano in fatto di pena di morte.
''Il Texas ha l'obbligo di rispettare i verdetti della Corte Internazionale di Giustizia'', in quanto gli Stati Uniti sono membro dell'organizzazione, aveva detto invece ancora ieri da Citta' del Messico il segretario generale dell'Onu Ban Ki-moon. Il caso Medellin, insieme a quelli di una cinquantina di altri messicani attualmente nel braccio della morte in carceri statunitensi, rientrava in un contenzioso tra Usa e Messico in atto da anni. Medellin era reo confesso dell'omicidio e dello stupro di gruppo di una sedicenne texana, uccisa insieme a un'amica nel 1993 a Houston. Nel suo caso, come in quello degli altri detenuti messicani, gli Stati Uniti erano stati accusati di non aver garantito l'assistenza consolare prevista dalla Convenzione di Vienna.
Nel 2004 la Corte internazionale dell'Aja aveva accolto la protesta formale delle autorita' messicane, chiedendo ai tribunali Usa di dare ai condannati a morte stranieri la possibilita' di comparire di nuovo in aula per ridiscutere i loro casi. L'anno seguente, a sorpresa, l'amministrazione Bush aveva accolto le richieste dell'Aja e chiesto ai tribunali americani di ridiscutere i processi.
Ma se a quel punto alcuni Stati come l'Oklahoma avevano fatto marcia indietro (trasformando in ergastolo il caso del condannato Osvaldo Torres) in Texas, lo Stato piu' severo negli Usa per l'applicazione della pena capitale, le cose sono andate diversamente. Medellin era diventato il detenuto simbolo della vicenda, dopo che il Texas si e' opposto alla decisione del governo federale ed aveva fatto ricorso alla stessa Corte Suprema contro Bush. Lo scorso marzo la Corte Suprema aveva dato ragione allo Stato americano, dichiarando che il governo federale non puo' imporre agli stati le nuove udienze, compito che spetta invece al Congresso.

EFE

Cerca de 80 latinoamericanos esperan en el corredor de la muerte en EE.UU.

Bogotá, 5 ago.- Con la ejecución hoy del mexicano José Ernesto Medellín quedan cerca de 80 latinoamericanos en el corredor de la muerte de Estados Unidos a la espera de un fallo que los libre de la pena capital.
El mexicano fue ejecutado a las 21.55 hora local (02.55 GMT) en el penal de Huntsville (Texas) después de que el Tribunal Supremo se pronunciara contra una suspensión de la ejecución y el gobernador del estado, Rick Perry, rechazara el pedido de clemencia.
Medellín había sido condenado a muerte en 1994 por la violación y asesinato de dos menores y era uno de los 53 mexicanos que estaban en el corredor de la muerte, según datos de la organización no gubernamental Fondo para la Defensa Legal y Educación (NAACP, por su sigla en inglés), De ellos, 51, incluido Medellín, no recibieron asistencia consular cuando fueron detenidos, lo que, según un fallo del 31 de marzo de 2004 de la Corte Internacional de Justicia (CIJ), conocido como "sentencia Avena", obliga a revisar los procesos.
La CIJ ordenó además el pasado 16 de julio a EEUU la suspensión provisional de la ejecución de cinco mexicanos en Texas, entre ellos Medellín, para poder tramitar la petición de México de interpretar la "sentencia Avena".
En dicha sentencia, la CIJ dictaminó que Estados Unidos violó la Convención de Viena de 1963 al no ofrecer asistencia consular a 51 mexicanos condenados a la pena capital y ordenó a las autoridades estadounidenses que revisasen sus sentencias.
Sin embargo, las órdenes de la CIJ, si bien suponen una "obligación internacional" para el Gobierno federal estadounidense, "no tienen un efecto legal y técnico" sobre los estados, como Texas, explicó en su momento el representante estadounidense ante la Corte de La Haya, John Bellinger.
Los otros cuatro mexicanos cobijados por la suspensión provisional de la ejecución ordenada por la CIJ son Roberto Moreno Ramos, César Roberto Fierro, Rubén Ramírez y Alberto Real García.
Según NAACP, además de los mexicanos, en los corredores de la muerte en Estados Unidos había en febrero pasado doce centroamericanos, siete cubanos, cuatro jamaicanos, cuatro colombianos, un peruano, un argentino y un haitiano.
Además de México, otros países latinoamericanos se han movilizado en favor de sus ciudadanos para librarlos de la pena capital en Estados Unidos.
El pasado lunes una misión oficial de Honduras viajó a Houston (EE.UU.) para hacer el último intento por conseguir un nuevo aplazamiento de la ejecución del ciudadano de ese país Heliberto Chi, prevista para el próximo jueves.
La Cancillería indicó en un comunicado que el objetivo principal es "fortalecer las últimas acciones legales en beneficio de Heliberto Chi", sentenciado a morir mediante inyección letal, el mismo método usado con el mexicano Medellín.
Chi, originario de San Pedro Sula cumple condena desde marzo de 2001 por el asesinato de un hombre en Arlington (Texas) y su ejecución se pospuso el 2 de octubre de 2007 a raíz de una resolución del Tribunal Supremo de EE.UU. mientras se decidía la constitucionalidad de la inyección letal. 06 AGO  06:38   -   EFE

México envía nota de protesta a EE.UU. por ejecución de Medellín

México, 5 ago (EFE).- El Gobierno de México reaccionó hoy con indignación por la ejecución esta noche en Texas del reo mexicano José Medellín, y envió una nota de protesta al Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. "por esta violación al derecho internacional".
En un comunicado, la Cancillería mexicana dijo que el ajusticiamiento se realizó "en claro desacato" a una orden de la Corte Internacional de Justicia (CIJ).
Dijo que el Gobierno de México ha enviado una nota de protesta al Departamento de Estado de EE.UU "por esta violación al derecho internacional, preocupado por el precedente que pueda sentar para los derechos" de los mexicanos que puedan ser detenidos en ese país.
El 16 de julio pasado la CIJ ordenó a EE.UU. "tomar todas las medidas necesarias" para evitar la ejecución hasta que se revisara y reconsiderara la condena, como lo ordenó en 2004 esta misma Corte en su fallo en el caso Avena, que incluye a 51 reos mexicanos condenados a muerte, entre ellos Medellín, señaló la Cancillería.
La resolución de la CIJ reconoció que las autoridades de Texas nunca informaron a Medellín sobre el derecho a que su detención fuese notificada al consulado de México, "en franca violación a la Convención de Viena sobre Relaciones Consulares", recordó la Cancillería.
La Secretaría
de Relaciones Exteriores dijo que reitera que la importancia fundamental de este caso es el respeto al derecho al acceso a la protección que brindan sus consulados a los mexicanos en el exterior.
Afirmó que "agotó todas las instancias legales a su alcance, tanto internas como internacionales, con el fin de obtener la revisión y reconsideración del caso a la luz de la falta de notificación consular".
Finalmente dijo que el Gobierno de México "continuará insistiendo en la obligación de Estados Unidos de otorgar la revisión y reconsideración de las condenas de pena de muerte" de los otros 50 mexicanos cubiertos por el fallo Avena.
Por otra parte, en la ciudad de Nuevo Laredo, fronteriza con Estados Unidos, familiares de Medellín estallaron en llanto al conocer la noticia de la ejecución.
Reyna Armendáriz
, prima de José, comentó a Efe que en su casa de Nuevo Laredo están reunidos unos diez familiares y que todos están consternados porque había abrigado la esperanza de que la ejecución se aplazara para que fuera revisado el caso.
Afuera de la casa de Reyna se reunieron unas 20 personas, entre familiares y amigos cercanos, quienes se abrazaron y lloraron al enterarse de la muerte del mexicano Medellín, de 33 años, fue condenado a muerte en 1994 por la violación y asesinato de Jennifer Ertman, de 14 años, y Elizabeth Peña.

AGI – AFP - REUTERS

PENA MORTE:TEXAS SFIDA BUSH E ONU,GIUSTIZIA MESSICANO MEDELLIN

Huntsville, Texas, 6 ago. - Il Texas incurante degli appelli dell'Onu, delle sentenze della Corte di Giustizia Internazionale dell'Aja, della stessa Casa Bianca ha giustiziato stanotte alle 21,57 (le 4,57 in Italia) il messicano Jose Medellin, 33 anni, condannato per aver stuprato una sedicenne nel 1993. Il caso ha assunto rilevo internazionale perche' il processo di Medellin e di altri 50 cittadini messicani era' viziato, secondo l'Aja, dal mancato rispetto della Convenzione di Ginevra: le autorita' texane, infatti, non autorizzarono la cosiddetta "visita consolare" di un diplomatico messicano, prevista quando uno straniero viene arrestato in un Paese straniero.
La Corte di Giustizia Internazionale aveva chiesto un nuovo procedimento ma la Corte Suprema texana ha respinto l'ultimo ricorso di Medellin e il boia ha proceduto con l'esecuzione, la quinta nello Stato della 'Stella solitario', che ha il non invidiabile primato del record di esecuzioni.
Il Messico ha formalmente inviato una nota di protesta al dipartimento di Stato denunciando "la violazione del diritto internazionale". La diplomazia Usa si era difesa ieri ricordando che lo stesso presidente George W. Bush, ex governatore del Texas e firmatario di decine di condanne a morte, nel nel caso Medellin aveva fatto "il possibile" accogliendo la sentenza emessa dalla Corte di Giustizia nel 2004. Anche lui, pero', si era dovuto fermare di alla Corte Suprema di Washington che aveva sancito che la Casa Bianca non ha il potere di scavalcare i poteri e la volonta' di uno stato come il Texas, pienamente sovrano in fatto di pena di morte.

Associated Press

Texas executes Mexican-born killer

HUNTSVILLE, Texas  _ A Mexican-born condemned prisoner was executed for the rape and murder of two teenage girls 15 years ago after a divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a reprieve.
«I'm sorry my actions caused you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek. Never harbor hate,» Jose Medellin said to those gathered to watch him die. Nine minutes later, at 9:57 p.m. (0257 GMT Wednesday), he was pronounced dead.
Medellin's execution, the fifth this year in America's busiest capital punishment state, attracted international attention after he raised claims he wasn't allowed to consult the Mexican consulate for legal help following his arrest. State officials say he didn't ask to do so until well after he was convicted of capital murder.
Medellin, 33, was condemned for participating in the 1993 gang rape, beating and strangling of Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14. He and five fellow gang members attacked the Houston girls as they were walking home on a June night, raped and tortured them for an hour, then kicked and stomped them before using a belt and shoelaces to strangle them.
Their remains were found four days later. By then, Medellin already had bragged to friends about the killings.
Pena's father, who was among the witnesses, gently tapped the glass that separated him from Medellin as he turned to leave the witness chamber after the execution.
«We feel relieved,» Adolfo Pena said after leaving the prison. «Fifteen years is a long time coming.» Several dozen demonstrators, about evenly divided between favoring and opposing capital punishment, stood outside on opposite sides of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.
Medellin's attorneys contended he was denied the protections of the Vienna Convention, which calls for people arrested to have access to their home country's consular officials.
«Under the circumstances, it's hard to talk about what comes next,» lawyer Sandra Babcock said, noting her thoughts were with Medellin's family and the family of his victims. «But now more than ever, it's important to recall this is a case not just about one Mexican national on death row in Texas. It's also about ordinary Americans who count on the protection of the consulate when they travel abroad to strange lands. It's about the reputation of the United States as a nation that adheres to the rule of law.» In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where Medellin was born, a small group of his relatives condemned his execution.
«Only God has the right to take a life,» cousin Reyna Armendariz said.
Six of his relatives, including Armendariz, and several activists gathered earlier Tuesday in a working-class neighborhood to await word on Medellin's fate.
A large black bow and a banner that read «No to the death penalty ... may God forgive you,» hung from an iron fence in front of the house where Medellin lived until moving to the United States at the age of 3. He grew up in Houston, where he learned English and attended school.
The International Court of Justice said Medellin and some 50 other Mexicans on death row around the U.S. should have new hearings in U.S. courts to determine whether the 1963 treaty was violated during their arrests. Medellin was the first among them to die.
President George W. Bush asked states to review the cases, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year neither the president nor the international court can force Texas to wait.
Gov. Rick Perry, Texas courts and the Texas attorney general's office all said the execution should go forward and that Medellin has had multiple legal reviews. State officials noted Medellin never invoked his consular rights under the Vienna Convention until some four years after he was convicted.
His lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to stop the execution until legislation could be passed to formalize case reviews ordered by the International Court of Justice.
The high court said in its ruling that that possibility was too remote to justify a stay. Justice Stephen Breyer, one of four justices who issued dissenting opinions, wrote that to permit the execution would place the United States «irremediably in violation of international law and breaks our treaty promises.» Medellin's supporters said either Congress or the Texas Legislature should have been given a chance to pass a law setting up procedures for new hearings. A bill to implement the international court's ruling wasn't introduced in Congress until last month. The Texas Legislature doesn't meet until January.
On Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request for a reprieve and denied his lawyers permission to file new appeals. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also rejected requests for clemency and a 240-day reprieve.
One of Medellin's fellow gang members, Derrick O'Brien, was executed two years ago. Another, Peter Cantu, described as the ringleader of the group, is on death row. He does not have a death date.
Two others, Efrain Perez and Raul Villarreal, had their death sentences commuted to life in prison when the Supreme Court barred executions for those who were 17 at the time of their crimes. The sixth person convicted, Medellin's brother, Vernancio, was 14 at the time and is serving a 40-year prison term.
___ Associated Press writers Ana Ley in Huntsville and Jorge Vargas in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, contributed to this report.

Mexico condemns Texas execution of Mexican man

Mexico (AP) _ Mexico's government condemned Texas' execution of Jose Medellin despite a world court order to review the case, expressing concern for the rights of other Mexicans detained in the United States.
Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said it sent a note of protest to the U.S. State Department about the case, which drew international attention because of allegations that Medellin wasn't allowed to consult the Mexican consulate for legal help following his arrest.
Texas executed Mexican-born Medellin, 33, late Tuesday for the 1993 rape-slayings of two teenage Houston girls after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a reprieve in a split vote.
In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where Medellin was born, a small group of his relatives condemned his execution.
«Only God has the right to take a life,» said Medellin's cousin Reyna Armendariz.
Six of his relatives and several activists gathered Tuesday in a working class neighborhood to await news on Medellin's fate.
A large black bow and a banner that read «No to the death penalty ... may God forgive you,» hung from an iron fence in the front of the house where Medellin lived until moving to the United States at the age of 3.
The Mexican government statement said officials «were concerned for the precedent that (the execution) may create for the rights of Mexican nationals who may be detained in that country.» An international court ruled in 2004 that the convictions of Medellin and 50 other Mexicans on death row around the United States violated the Vienna Convention, which calls for people arrested abroad to have access to their home country's consular officials.
Texas state officials say Medellin didn't ask to do so until well after he was convicted of capital murder.
The International Court of Justice, also known as the world court, said the Mexican prisoners should have new court hearings to determine whether the violation affected their cases.
U.S. President George W. Bush asked states to review the cases, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year neither the president nor the international court can force Texas to wait.
Medellin was convicted of participating in the gang rape, beating and strangling of Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14. He and five fellow gang members attacked the Houston girls as they were walking home on a June night, raped and tortured them for an hour, then kicked and stomped them before using a belt and shoelaces to strangle them.
Associated Press Writer Olga R. Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed to this report.

Reuter

Texas defies World Court with execution

Texas defied the World Court and executed a Mexican national by lethal injection on Tuesday over the objections of the international judicial body and neighboring Mexico.
Jose Medellin, 33, was pronounced dead at 9:57 p.m. CDT (0257 GMT) in the state's death chamber in Huntsville, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.
He had been condemned for the 1993 rape and murder of 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena in Houston and lost his bid late Tuesday for a last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The World Court last month ordered the U.S. government to "take all measures necessary" to halt the upcoming executions of five Mexicans including Medellin's on the grounds that they had been deprived of their right to consular services after their arrests.
Medellin's execution is sure to anger neighboring Mexico and analysts have said it could make life rough for Americans arrested abroad if other countries decide to evoke the U.S.
example and deprive them of their right to consular services.
This typically means diplomats will visit and provide legal advice to their nationals being held by authorities.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had recommended that the state's Republican governor Rick Perry not grant a temporary reprieve, paving the way for Medellin's execution.
Texas, which executes far more convicts than any other U.S.
state, had taken the view that the brutal nature of Medellin's crimes rendered him unfit for a reprieve or lesser sentence.
The World Court's jurisdiction also does not reach Texas, a state where authorities generally don't like outsiders telling them what to do.
The political fall-out from the Medellin and related cases has reached the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. President George W. Bush directed his native Texas to comply with a World Court ruling in 2004 mandating review of the cases of Medellin and other Mexicans in U.S. prisons awaiting execution. The U.S. Supreme Court said in March Bush's action had exceeded his authority.
The government of Mexico sent the U.S. State Department a diplomatic note of protest, expressing "its concern for the precedent" that the case "may create for the rights of Mexican nationals who may be detained in that country." CHILLING CRIME The June 1993 crime for which Medellin was condemned was chilling. According to the Texas Attorney General's office, Pena and her 14-year-old companion, Jennifer Ertman, were walking home when they encountered a gang initiation.
Medellin and his fellow gang members sexually assaulted, beat and strangled the two girls. When their badly decomposed bodies were finally recovered, they could only be identified by dental records. Medellin was only convicted of Pena's murder.
Speaking to Reuters in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo, Medellin's aunt Reyna Armendariz, 45, said: "He was a normal, happy kid ... They don't have the right to take his life away, we acknowledged that he committed a crime but make him pay with a life sentence," she said.
In his last statement Medellin said: "I am sorry my actions caused pain." He had no last meal request, which is a ritual of U.S. executions.
Medellin was the fifth inmate executed in Texas so far this year and the 410th put to death since 1982, when the state resumed executions six years after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment.
Texas currently has 14 more executions scheduled for this year and one early in 2009.
Seventeen executions have now been carried out in the United States since the Supreme Court in April lifted an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty when it rejected a challenge to the three-drug cocktail used in most lethal injections.

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