Houston Chronicle Calls for Stay of Execution for Humberto Leal

Today’s Houston Chronicle features an editorial that calls for a stay of execution for Humberto Leal, in light of legislation pending in Congress that would allow federal courts to review death penalty cases involving foreign nationals who were denied the right to contact their consular offices (“Keeping our word: Scheduled Texas execution violates treaty and endangers Americans abroad,” June 23, 2011).  Here’s a long excerpt:

Americans traveling abroad are protected, whether they are aware of it or not, by a treaty called the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, ratified by about 170 countries, which guarantees them access to U.S. consular assistance if they are detained or arrested in a foreign country. In 2010, more than 6,600 Americans were arrested abroad, and more than 3,000 were incarcerated. Many of them benefited from the protections of this treaty.

But unfortunately, the U.S. has repeatedly failed to offer those same protections to foreigners on U.S. soil. The most egregious of these violations is the denial of consular assistance to foreign nationals convicted and sentenced to death. (Currently, about 100 foreign nationals are on U.S. death rows.) And in a particularly urgent case, one of those individuals whose rights were violated, a Mexican national named Humberto Leal Garcia, is scheduled to be executed on July 7 in Huntsville.

Because a bill has been introduced to bring the U.S. into compliance with the treaty, Leal’s attorneys have filed a federal petition and a motion for a stay of execution so that Leal will be alive and eligible for the remedies of this legislation when it becomes law.

There are compelling reasons why these petitions should be granted. Chief among them is the fact that this pending legislation will allow for review of cases like Leal’s, said his attorney Sandra Babcock, “where lack of consular assistance may well have made the difference between life and death. That’s why the consular access really matters.” Mexico provides top-flight legal assistance to its nationals under such circumstances.

Read the full editorial in the Chronicle.

If you haven’t done so already, please sign the petition in support of clemency for Humberto Leal:


3 thoughts on “Houston Chronicle Calls for Stay of Execution for Humberto Leal

  1. Its a disgrace to our country for the State of Texas and Gov. Rick Perry not to follow the necessary actions of law in due process for Mr. Leal. He is a Mexican nationalist with rights. Mr. Leal should be given experience legal counsel to represent him or clemency for the injustice of a failed court system. I have signed a petition requesting Mr. Humberto Leal execution to be stopped on July 7, 2011.

  2. The execution should not be stopped for a pending law. If the bill does not make it to law we have wasted the tax payers money keeping a convicted felon alive. Only those who come after the law should be privy to that law

  3. What about 16-year-old Adria Sauceda rights? Here’s what the liberal left is promoting:

    16-year-old Adria Sauceda was allegedly pumped full of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana, at a party, pulled to the backyard, where she was stripped and circled and raped by eight or nine men, each “taking turns”. Friends who came to her aid were told to shut up, drink, and quit spoiling the party.

    There was a 30- to 40-pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of the victim’s skull lying partially on the victim’s left arm,” court documents read. “Blood was underneath this rock. A smaller rock with blood on it was located near the victim’s right thigh. There was a gaping hole from the corner of the victim’s right eye extending to the center of her head from which blood was oozing. The victim’s head was splattered with blood.”

    A “bloody and broken” stick roughly 15 inches long with a screw at the end of it was also protruding from the girl’s vagina, according to court documents.

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