That's impressive, if you find state-sanctioned killing to be, you know, impressive.
[L]ast summer Perry declined to grant a stay of execution in the case of José Medellin, a Mexican national who was sent to death row when he was 18 on rape and murder charges. Medellin, who was jailed in 1993, was kept ignorant of his right to talk to a consular official at the time of his arrest -- a right bestowed on him by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
According to Amnesty International, "because of this treaty violation, José Medellín was deprived of the extensive assistance that Mexico provides for the defense of its citizens facing capital charges in the USA. The Mexican Consulate did not learn about the case until nearly four years after José Medellín’s arrest, by which time his trial and the initial appeal affirming his conviction and death sentence had already concluded."
Aside from becoming a major diplomatic flap between the U.S. and Mexico, the Medellin case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in March 2008 that the United States was obligated by international law to comply with an International Court of Justice decision that the U.S. provide judicial "review and reconsideration” of the convictions of some 50 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States. This did little to help Medellin however.
"Even President Bush, who signed scores of death warrants as Texas governor, concurred some time ago that the United States must honor its international obligations in this case," Amnesty International’s Larry Cox said in the run-up to Medellin’s execution. "There will be no clearer sign that Texas will have gone beyond the pale than if José Medellin's execution goes forward." Not surprisingly, Texas did just that, killing Medellin on Aug. 5, 2008.
"Executions in the U.S. have become largely a Southern practice," says Scott Cobb. "Last year, 95 percent of all executions were in the South. It is the legacy of the Old South and its history of slavery, lynchings and segregation that is the reason why the South executes so many people compared to other parts of the U.S.