Thursday, July 17, 2008

United Nations "Orders" Texas to Halt Execution of Jose Medellin fron Pure Murder

[Ed. - This article originally appeared at my other blog, In Cold Blog earlier today.]

The big news yesterday was that the United Nations' International Court of Justice "ordered" the state of Texas to halt the execution of Mexican national/child murderer Jose "Joe" Medellin (pictured left), who is scheduled to die on August 5.

Medellin, featured in my newest book, Pure Murder, has been on death row since he was convicted in 1994 and has fought mightily to avoid the same fate he perpetrated on two teenage girls, Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14, more than fifteen years ago. Medellin, who was born in Mexico and illegaly migrated to the United States when he was nine years old, has repeatedly attempted to have his case reviewed by the International Court based on a claim that, as a Mexican national, he was denied consular representation at the time of his arrest.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the International Court of Justice (AKA World Court), which is the United Nations' highest court, ordered the United States government to make an effort to force the state of Texas to stop the execution of Medellin and four other Mexican national death row inmates so the Court can further review the cases.

It all sounds stern and authoritative, however, it doesn't mean squat. The World Court has absolutely no jurisdiction over Texas.

Furthermore, the case has already gone before the United States Supreme Court with the charge to spare Medellin's life led by none other than former Texas governor and still-president George W. Bush. In March of this year, the Supreme Court ruled against the Bush administration and declared that the state of Texas could proceed with Medellin's execution.

The Bush administration was not to be deterred. According to fellow In Cold Blogger and City of Houston Mayor's Office crime victims' advocate Andy Kahan, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice intervened with current Texas governor Rick Perry on behalf of the president in an attempt to convince the governor to order a stay of execution.

Perry responded with the legal equivalent of a big, "Fuck you!"

Last night, Perry spokesman Robert Black iterated, "The world court has no standing in Texas and Texas is not bound by a ruling or edict from a foreign court." Black added, "It is easy to get caught up in discussions of international law and justice and treaties. It's very important to remember that these individuals are on death row for killing our citizens."

That sentimentality is also what I expressed during a phone interview with reporter Ned Hibberd of the Houston Fox news affiliate last night. You can watch the interview here which also features Kahan.

Kahan expects the fireworks to continue from now until August 5 when Medellin is scheduled to die.

You can order Corey Mitchell's Pure Murder below:

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