|Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 10):|
Do you know when Mexico became aware of the plight of this criminal? Was it before his sentence or only afterwards? I don't know for certain, and I could be wrong, but I suspect it was during his trial given its high-profile nature. And if it was before or during his trial, or even prior to sentencing, I'd like to know why this organization didn't become involved at that point.
Medellin was arrested, charged, tried, and convicted in 1994. Mexico found out about Medellin's arrest in September 1997, six weeks after Medellin's first appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Medellin's appeal. See Medellín v. Dretke, 125 S.Ct. at 2097, part of Justice O'Connor's dissent, which lays out that Medellin informed both arresting officers and people in the court that he was a Mexican national and the details of how Mexico came to find out Medellin was imprisoned (Medellin wrote a letter to the Mexican government in 1997 -- Texas never informed Mexico that one of its citizens was even on trial, much less imprisoned).
|Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 10):|
Respectfully, we're talking about the citizens of the State of Texas and their right to live under the law as they see fit, not what would have been acceptable to Mexico nor what would be acceptable to our own Department of State. I'm not sure having a foreign country trying to influence the outcome of a judicial process here serves any justice.
However, we were signatories to both The Vienna Convention and Optional Protocol. These treaties bind us to the decisions of the International Court of Justice. There is well established precedent that the individual states cannot break treaty obligations entered into by the Federal Government. If we were to allow this, we would have absolutely no treaties since states would be able to break the treaties whenever they felt like it.
Moreover, President Bush issued a directive to then Attorney General Gonzalez telling him that the United States would abide
by the ICJ's ruling! So, Texas thumbed its nose not only at an international treaty but also the will and directive of our President.
Furthermore, when the Supreme Court interprets a treaty, it must look first to the actual language; then to drafting history and original intent of the treaty; and then the understanding of the treaty by fellow signatory nations. The actual language of the treaty is a bit ambiguous as to whether the treaty is self-executing or not (one of Justice Roberts' main points in his argument from the cursory read I've had of the SC
opinion). However, the original intent and understanding of the treaty by other nations is completely unambiguous: the treaty is self executing and creates individual rights.
Finally, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice mandate that foreign nationals must
be notified of their right to talk with a consular official from that individual's country within a specified amount of time (36 hours). The Department of State also says that the Vienna Convention obligations are binding on all federal, state, and local officials. So Texas once again thumbed its nose at the federal government on an issue of international treaty obligations.
Ok, so that wasn't really finally. We also demand strict compliance with the Vienna Convention from other nations (specifically, we have either brought to court or threatened to bring to court over noncompliance Iran, Syria, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and China at the very least. Which brings me back to the point in my original post that it is extremely hypocritical of the United States to demand other nations comply with a treaty that we are a part of but refuse to respect the treaty when it comes to their citizens within our borders.