White House Files Amicus Brief to Stay Execution of Humberto Garcia
The White House has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put the brakes on the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia in an attempt to avoid breaching international law.
Humberto Garcia was convicted in 1994 on charges of rape and murder of a 16-year old girl in Texas. He was sentenced to death and is scheduled for execution this week.
In an amicus curiae brief, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli claimed that the execution would "place the United States in irreparable breach of its international-law obligation to afford (Leal) review and reconsideration of his claim that his conviction and sentence were prejudiced by Texas authorities' failure to provide consular notification and assistance under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations."
The issue arose at the time of Garcia's arrest. Garcia had been living in the United States since the age of two but has technically been considered a Mexican citizen. At the time of his arrest, he was not granted access to the Mexican consular offices, which ultimately raised issues as to whether Garcia was ever given a fair trial.
The United Nations has also stepped in to stop the execution, reports CNN.
Garcia made alleged confessions during interviews with police. Those confessions, his lawyers argued, required suppression as they were not lawfully obtained and were in violation of the Vienna Convention.
The Texas courts rejected these arguments finding that as Garcia was not in official police custody at the time of these confessions, they were admissible.
The execution of Humberto Garcia could have broad and harsh implications on the interests of Americans abroad.
- Garcia v. Quarterman (FindLaw Cases)
- A Recent Supreme Court Decision on the Vienna Convention Reaffirms that Justice Stevens, at Eighty-Eight, Remains A Force to Be Reckoned With (FindLaw's Writ)
- Case Concerning The Vienna Convention of Consular Relations (FindLaw News)
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