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Once again, Judge Cochran (in her concurrence) explains in her usual lucid style why Medellin cannot succeed on the merits of his Vienna Convention claim. She distills things to their very essence. I wonder if the press will use her words?.................Nah.


"First, let us be clear about applicant's claim. Born in Mexico, applicant was brought to the United States when he was three years old and, at the time he was arrested, had lived in this country for fifteen of his eighteen years. He spoke fluent English, but he never obtained, nor apparently ever sought, U.S. citizenship. So, at the time of his arrest and trial, he was legally a Mexican citizen. His claim is that no one informed him of his right to contact the Mexican consulate. This is true. It is also true that he was never denied access to the Mexican consulate. The problem is that he apparently never told any law enforcement or judicial official that he was a Mexican citizen until some four years after his conviction. Applicant never informed the arresting officers that he was a Mexican citizen. (1) He makes no claim that he informed any magistrate that he was a Mexican citizen. He points to no evidence that he informed the trial judge before or during his trial that he was a Mexican citizen. (2) We do not know what the arresting officers, the magistrate, or the trial judge would have done had any of them been informed that applicant was a citizen of Mexico. Perhaps they would have informed him of his right to contact his consulate for assistance. While Texas authorities clearly failed in their duty to inform this foreign national of his rights under the Vienna Convention, this foreign national equally failed in his duty to inform those authorities that he was a Mexican citizen. Although one would like to think that all Texas public officials are clairvoyant about the nationality of all who appear before them, they are not required to be, nor, when there is no reason to believe that a defendant is anything but a U.S. citizen, should they be."



http://www.cca.courts.state.tx.us/OPINIONS/HTMLOPINIONINFO.ASP?OPINIONID=17174[/URL]

JAS
 
Posts: 586 | Location: Denton,TX | Registered: January 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is my favorite part of the opinion:
quote:
No Officer Krupke would ever conclude that applicant's crimes and those of his cohorts were just the unfortunate product of a sad and sorry upbringing. (17)




here is footnote 17:
17. See Stephen Sondheim, "Gee Officer Krupke," West Side Story:

Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke, 
You gotta understand, 
It's just our bringin' up-ke 
That gets us out of hand. 
Our mothers all are junkies, 
Our fathers all are drunks. 
Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks! 

Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset; 
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get. 
We ain't no delinquents, 
We're misunderstood. 
Deep down inside us there is good! 
 
Posts: 689 | Registered: March 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a different favorite part:

quote:
Some societies may judge our death penalty barbaric. Most Texans, however, consider death a just penalty in certain rare circumstances. Many Europeans may disagree. So be it. But until and unless the citizens of this state or the courts of this nation decide that capital punishment should no longer be allowed under any circumstances at all, the jury's verdict in this particular case should be honored and upheld because applicant received a fundamentally fair trial under American law.

 
Posts: 1116 | Location: Waxahachie | Registered: December 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like that part too, Andrea.

My favorite quote from the Cochran opinion:

"Surely no juror or judge will ever forget his words or his sordid deeds."

I'll never understand the european interest in the death penalty. From personal experience, I have seen letters mailed from a scandinavian school teacher with children herself, chiding the parents of my murdered friend for "allowing" the Harris County DA's office to seek the DP.

Despite the fact that this was a so-called educated person with a husband and children, she paid her own way to Texas to witness the execution of the man who killed my friend. Because she felt sorry for him.

Cured me of any desire to visit (most of) Europe.

This case was one of the worst murders imaginable. If you have not read the facts, you should. The facts will chill you and will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardened and experienced prosecutors.

Several interesting forum posts on this story at the anti-death penalty newspaper of Texas, the Houston Chronicle, detail a different type of "delayed execution" that this killer should be subject to. Of the hundreds of posts this story drew, it is apparent that the Houston Chronicle does not represent the opinion of it's readers nor of the vast majority of Texans.

I don't recall who prosecuted this case and those of the co-defendants but they did a very good job.

I sincerely disagree with the position of Judge Price as stated in his opinion:

V. Executive Clemency

"For all of the above reasons, this Court is not at liberty to stop the applicant's execution. But the Governor is. The applicant informs us that he has requested that the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommend to the Governor that he grant the applicant a 240-day reprieve so that there will be time for the proposed federal legislation to be considered in Congress. (15) Moreover, the Governor himself may grant a 30-day reprieve even absent a recommendation from the Board. (16) It would be an embarrassment and a shame to the people of Texas and the rest of the country (albeit not presently unconstitutional) if we were to execute the applicant despite our failure to honor the international obligation embodied in the Avena judgment when legislation may well be passed in the near future by which that obligation would become, not merely precatory, but legally (and retroactively) binding upon us. The Executive Branch most appropriately exercises its clemency authority when the judicial branch finds itself powerless to rectify an obvious and manifest injustice. This, I think, is such a situation, and I would urge the Board and the Governor to act."


My prayers are with the Ertman and Pena families at this difficult time.

[This message was edited by Greg Gilleland on 08-01-08 at .]
 
Posts: 2578 | Location: The Great State of Texas | Registered: December 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I cut the uncivilized Europeans some slack in not trusting the government to do executions since over there they've managed to elect governments that actually exterminate citizens (Germany) or, even as little as a decade ago attempted "ethnic cleansing" (Yugoslavia) which is just a euphemism for genocide.

In this country we mostly stopped that kind of behavior over 100 years ago... after the Wounded Knee Massacre.
 
Posts: 689 | Registered: March 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I kind of liked that Miscellaneous Rule 8-101 seemed to work. (Though we'll see if something else gets filed and what, if anything, it is.)

[This message was edited by R.J. MacReady on 08-04-08 at .]
 
Posts: 104 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Gilleland:

I'll never understand the european interest in the death penalty.


I'll second Alex's point. It doesn't excuse their often misguided, ends-justify-the-means actions, but when you live in a part of the world in which "elected" governments in Germany, Italy, and then the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc killed upwards of ten million people who came under their boot in the past 70 years ... well then, I can see how they might be a little leery of state-sanctioned executions.

However, the disconnect for them is that they live in countries that are "democratic" mostly in name only (at least as we would understand it). Europeans elect their representatives, but they cede to those representatives much more authority than we do in America. For instance, polling frequently shows popular support for the death penalty in many European countries, but that support cannot overcome the entrenched opposition of government bureaucrats there. Heck, if you really want to see European "democracy" in action, just look at the recent history of the new Euro Constitution and how it is being crammed down people's throats by Brussels, 10 Downing Street, et al. ("What, the Irish voted against it? Well, let's just make them keep voting until they get it 'right'" ... come to think of it, that reminds me a lot of the Austin City Council, too ... proving my point, I suppose.)

So, don't get too upset about our Old World cousins -- they're simply trapped in a foreign world view that was the reason many people left for greener pastures years ago. Anyway, at the going rate, there won't be any Europeans left to complain about the death penalty in about 150 years -- and while their successors in the newly-formed Eurostan will disagree with us about many things, executions is not one of them.

Wink
 
Posts: 2415 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was in law school in Houston when these murders took place and when at least one of the defendants was put to trial. Of all the murders that seemed to take place back then, which were on the evening news every night, this one and one other were the only ones that I can really recall due to the sheer inhumanity of the offenses.

I just wish that all of the people opposing this execution would have to start their letters or articles with a paragraph or two detailing the horrific way in which the 2 girls were raped and killed. I think most would just put their pen down or their keyboard away and find a different poster child for their political agenda. The victim and the nature of the crime are always the last thing that death penalty opponents want to talk about or remember.
 
Posts: 280 | Location: Weatherford, Texas | Registered: March 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good point, Jeff. Many of us not involved with this case but who were prosecutors back then in the Houston area couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the sheer horror these killers put those sweet girls through.

Your idea is the best one I've ever read. Require the anti-DP's to write 250 words about the crime, what the crime did to the victim and victim's families and the method of murder. Maybe an estimation of how long it took to kill the victim.

Shannon, I've got many friends from Europe, mostly from Norway, England, Monaco and Italy, courtesy of my wife's longstanding oil and gas business activities.

Funny, most of the ones I know believe in the death penalty for murder or child molestation. They also wish they could own handguns for protection. In fact, when they are visiting the states, that is what they want to do...shoot handguns. I guess the international oil and gas types run a bit more conservative than the anti-DP types. Maybe it's the fact they are well-traveled and spend alot of time in Houston listening to the TV news when they are there.
 
Posts: 2578 | Location: The Great State of Texas | Registered: December 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Give him the needle already and let's get this over. Adios Jose.
 
Posts: 293 | Location: San Antonio | Registered: January 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stay
denied 5-4 at 9:20 pm.
 
Posts: 527 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas, | Registered: May 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is it really a per curiam opinion if each of the dissenters identify themselves?

I also find it interesting that the dissenters rely upon arguments that they should seek the input of the United States Soliciter General and that Congress's delay in enacting laws implementing Avena could've been due to the fact that they didn't know they had to until SCOTUS said so. Aren't those arguments conceptually the same ones being urged by the State in its request for rehearing in Kennedy v. Louisiana?

[This message was edited by R.J. MacReady on 08-05-08 at .]
 
Posts: 104 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We had a hearing today in Fort Worth where the defense was asking our judge to vacate the death warrant on a Honduran national for similar grounds.

His execution date is this Thursday. Here's the story: Tarrant County case
 
Posts: 151 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Medellin was apologetic in his final statement when he said: "I'm sorry that my actions brought you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek."

If he believed this, why did he take 15 years to say it?
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Justice served.

JAS
 
Posts: 586 | Location: Denton,TX | Registered: January 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Medellin's death gets little notice in crime-weary Mexico
Some are even calling for the death penalty, saying capital punishment could stop the violence and bloodshed plaguing the nation
By MARK STEVENSON Associated Press
Aug. 6, 2008, 9:21PM

MEXICO CITY - Mexicans struggling with increasingly gruesome crimes at home devoted the least attention in recent memory to the execution of one of their citizens in Texas.

With Mexico riveted on its own kidnap and killing of a 14-year-old boy, the normally anti-death penalty country expressed far less outrage at the Tuesday execution of Jose Medellin, a Mexican national convicted in the 1993 rape and murder of two Houston girls.

Some Mexicans on Wednesday even called for the death penalty at home.

"There is no reason for outrage. The man was a rapist," said lawyer Gustavo Sanchez, 40, as he got his shoes shined on a Mexico City street. "If we had the death penalty here, there wouldn't be so many crimes."

[I'm actually impressed that the Chronicle ran this story.]
Rest of story.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by JAS:
Justice served.

JAS


"...but to see that Justice is done"

I have to say that Judge Cochran's opinion on this case is one of the finest that I have ever read.
 
Posts: 2578 | Location: The Great State of Texas | Registered: December 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Obama administration is making the same argument again: petition for stay of execution.

Why would the result be any different now?

For blog discussion, click here.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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