José Ernesto Medellín (the subject of International Court of Justice Cases) is scheduled to be executed today at 6pm in Texas. In the flurry of briefs surrounding Medellín petition for writ of certiorari, the state of Texas made the following concession:
[S]ome defendants currently incarcerated in Texas and subject to Avena may not have received "review and reconsideration" of their claims of prejudice under the Vienna Convention on the merits. Accordingly, and as an act of comity, if any such individual should seek review in a future federal habeas proceeding, the State of Texas will not only not refrain from objecting, but will join the defense in asking the reviewing court to address the claim of prejudice on the merits, as courts have done for Medellín.
While their willingness to abide by international law and presidential recommendation is a positive change, the bargaining strategy they seem to be employing here is perplexing. "We promise we won't illegally execute anyone else, if you just let us execute this guy."
For more information:
- Medellín: Opposition of Texas to Medellín's Supreme Court Filings (International Law Reporter)
- Medellín v. Texas (Wikipedia)
- Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) (ICJ)
- Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 31 March 2004 in the Case concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) (Mexico v. United States of America) (ICJ)
- Avena Take Two (Law Is Cool)