The State of Texas is scheduled to put Ruben Cardenas to death today Wednesday, November 8, 2017, for the 1997 murder of Mayra Laguna in Hidalgo County. In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, as a Mexican-national, Cardenas had the right to contact the Mexican consulate upon arrest. He was unaware of this right. As a result, he was interrogated and confessed without any form of legal representation.
Carlos Sada, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America referred to Cardenas’ case as, “a failure, and from our perspective, this is an illegal act.” One of Cardenas’ attorneys, Maurie Levin, stated in a recent appeal, “To permit Mr. Cardenas’s conviction to stand without further examination and testing would undermine Texas’s commitment to addressing the epidemic of wrongful convictions, and would facilitate the execution of a potentially innocent man.”
Yesterday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole voted unanimously against clemency for Cardenas. If his execution proceeds, Cardenas will the be the seventh person put to death in 2017 by the State of Texas. It will be the first execution from Hidalgo County this year. Hidalgo County accounts for five executions since 1982.