Supreme Court to Hear Case of Mexican National on Death Row
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Jose Medellin, a Mexican national on death row in Texas whose case was heard by the World Court (International Court of Justice in the Hague) last year. Medellin was denied the right to speak with the Mexican consulate after his arrest. The case has important international implications.
The question is whether the federal government can permit Texas to execute a Mexican whose rights under a binding international treaty were violated when he was tried and sentenced to death without Mexican officials being notified.
On March 31, the International Court of Justice ordered the United States to undertake "an effective review" of the convictions and sentences of the inmate, José Ernesto Medellín, and 50 other Mexicans under death sentences in nine states. The court, usually known as the World Court, ruled that all 51 had been deprived of their right under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to meet with Mexican government representatives.
Mexico was not notified that Mr. Medellin had been sentenced to death until three years after he arrived on death row. Mexico then sued in the World Court. The World Court did not reverse the conviction, but ordered the U.S. to review each case individually.
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