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Medellin Coverage


Here is some morning-after coverage of the Medellin execution.

Michael Graczyk has this story for AP, and we finally get some coverage of the fact that Medellin has already had the judicial prejudice determination required by the Avena holding.

"State and federal courts -- on three separate occasions -- have already satisfied the World Court's suggestion that American courts examine whether Medellin suffered actual legal harm when authorities did not inform him about certain rights under the Vienna Convention," said Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's Office. "On all three occasions, state and federal courts concluded that Medellin suffered no legal harm."

But not so in the New York Times. James McKinley's story characterizes the execution as "in defiance of an international court ruling," with no mention of the issue of whether there has been actual compliance. The story mentions that two other members of the gang had their sentences commuted to life in prison. It doesn't mention that this disparate treatment was not a voluntary choice of Texas authorities but rather mandated by the Supreme Court's decision in Roper v. Simmons.

Reed Johnson has this story in the LA Times.

The WaPo has this story by Manuel Roig-Franzia from Mexico City. At the very end is this nugget: "This week, Mexico's Senate urged President Felipe Calderón to press U.S. officials to delay the execution. Calderón did not respond to the Senate request." A round of applause for President Calderón.

The Reuters report includes this statement: "The World Court's jurisdiction also does not reach Texas, a state where authorities generally don't like outsiders telling them what to do." Perhaps Reuters could inform us which jurisdictions' authorities do like outsiders telling them what to do.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg has this reasonably balanced report, though he also misses the already-heard point.

In the hometown paper, the Houston Chronicle, Allan Turner and Rosanna Ruiz give us the reaction of the victims' fathers:

"It's a long time coming," Adolfo Peña said, "Fifteen years is a long time. I wish those two girls could've lived that long."
Randy Ertman stood with his arm around Christina Alamaraz, a close friend. He said recent media attention had been too focused on Medellin and not their daughters.


No one, except for the most committed, is going to care about this in a week. One wishes that the dissenting Justices could have (a) noted how late in the day the motions were filed, (b) at least given lip service to the harm that would have been caused by delay and the interest a state has in enforcement of its judgment and (c) refrained from stating that the US is in violation of international law. With respect to (c), now, instead of a dispute about whether the US violated international law, we have it on Supreme Court authority that we did. Way to go.

It seems like the Mexican equivalent of John Q. Public has a more mature perspective on the execution of Medellin:


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