Last night, November 8, 2017, the State of Texas executed Ruben Cardenas after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected several remaining appeals. Cardenas was pronounced dead at 10:26 PM after four hours of delay caused by the Supreme Court’s review.
Cardenas’ execution sparked an outcry from international leaders for its violation of 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. Aside from international human rights violations, Cardenas’ case had other flaws. According to the Texas Tribune, “Evidence used against Cárdenas at trial included an eyewitness who could not identify him in a lineup but could at his trial — a practice that was prohibited by the Texas Legislature this year in an effort to prevent wrongful convictions. His legal team also argued that DNA testing done nearly 20 years ago is now obsolete.
This was the seventh execution to occur in Texas this year; there have been 23 executions nationwide. The State of Texas is scheduled to execute one other individual this year: Juan Castillo on December 14.