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The Vienna Convention, Yet Again

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As noted in the update to yesterday's News Scan, Florida and Texas both carried out executions yesterday.  The Texas case involved the Vienna Convention claim rearing its ugly head again.

The usual suspects make the usual noises that the United States violated international law by going ahead with the execution, but it did not, either in this case or the landmark Medellin case.  Some background info is given in this post from 2014 on another Vienna Convention case.

In a nutshell, the United States is treaty-obligated to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in the Avena case, even though it is wrong, in the 55 cases that were before the ICJ in that matter.  The Optional Protocol, to which we were a party at the time but have since withdrawn, requires compliance.

However, compliance means only that a court review the case to determine if there was any prejudice from the violation.  See ¶ 121.  The ICJ rejected Mexico's contention that retrial or resentencing was required in every case.  See ¶ 123.
Medellin was pending before the Supreme Court when the Fifth Circuit decided Cardenas's initial federal habeas petition, and the Fifth Circuit addressed the merits as well as procedural default.   Cardenas v. Dretke, 405 F.3d 244 (2005), part III D, last paragraph:

The ICJ also determined that the Mexican consular authorities learned of Cardenas' detention in time to provide him assistance, but decided not to assist him with his legal representation. Cardenas thus fails to show that he was harmed by any lack of notification to the Mexican consulate concerning his arrest. Therefore, it is not debatable among jurists of reason whether Cardenas was prejudiced by the State's failure to advise him of his Vienna Convention right to consular assistance without delay.
That review on prejudice is all the Avena decision requires.  The United States complied with its obligations under the Optional Protocol in this case.

CJLF's brief in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Ex parte Medellin, 223 S.W.3d 315 (2006) is here.  See Judge Hervey's concurrence.

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What will El Salvador do with this murderer?

Gang Member Arrested After Stabbed Woman Jumps From His Car
November 11, 2017 || CBS Denver

FORT MORGAN, Colo. (CBS4) – An illegal immigrant and confirmed
MS-13 gang member
is under arrest after evading northern Colorado
authorities for six days.
Angel Ramos, 36, was taken into custody Friday in Fort Collins. ...

Ramos is alleged to have kidnapped a Fort Morgan woman ... Ramos allegedly stabbed her in the neck with a screwdriver before the woman was able to
jump from his moving vehicle.

“The car ran over her leg after she landed on the ground,” states an MCSO Facebook post.
“Ramos attempted to put her into the trunk before finally fleeing.”

With the help of Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Ramos was identified as an MS-13 gang member.
It was also determined he is wanted for a homicide in the country of
El Salvador.

~ http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/11/11/gang-stabbed-woman-fort-morgan/

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