Last night, after a three-hour delay resulting from a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the State of Texas executed Edgar Tamayo. He was convicted of the 1994 murder of Officer Guy Gaddis of the Houston Police Department. It was the first execution to take place in Texas in 2014 and the fourth nationwide.
Tamayo, a Mexican national, was denied his right to seek consular assistance after his arrest, as required under article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Mexican authorities did not learn of his case until a week before the start of the trial and were unable to provide him with adequate legal counsel. Tamayo’s court-appointed attorney failed to present substantial mitigating evidence about his abusive childhood and developmental problems, which might have impacted the jury’s decision in the sentencing phase.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, “The Supreme Court considered at least two late appeals. One focused on whether he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty. The other was related to the consular issue.” The Court rejected both appeals.
At least eight executions are scheduled to take place in Texas over the next five months.