Texas Executes Mexican Citizen, Defies International Protests

Agents of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice executed Mexican citizen Edgar Tamayo Arias, 46, on Wednesday night — after last-ditch efforts to keep him alive failed.

Convicted of killing a Houston police officer in 1994, Tamayo’s lawyers had appealed to the US Supreme Court and argued that he was denied his right to diplomatic assistance from the Mexican consulate when he was arrested. Last Sunday, the country’s foreign ministry said that executing Tamayo “would be a clear violation of the United States’ international obligations.”

Despite those claims, the Supreme Court denied the appeal. Tamayo’s attorneys criticized the decision on Wednesday, stating, “He will be executed tonight, despite the indisputable fact that his right to consular assistance was violated.” Another appeal, arguing that he was mentally handicapped and therefore ineligible to be executed, was also denied.

Tamayo was the third in a group of 51 Mexicans mentioned in a 2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice. The ruling advised the United States to reconsider each one of the death sentences, citing their convictions without knowledge of their right to consular assistance.

His execution was the first of the year in Texas, and the 509th in the state since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Another eight are scheduled in Texas before the end of May.

Source: The Wire.

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