Certainly there’s a lot going on in the news right now, but the fact that this story has received very little press is disgraceful:
What America does in its own prisons is its own business, most of the time. That was not true on Tuesday night, however, when a lethal injection was administered to a Mexican national in Huntsville prison, Texas, convicted in a case of gang rape and strangulation of two teenage girls in Houston 15 years ago.
The death of Jose Medellin brought an instant diplomatic protest from Mexico, which had demanded that he and 50 other Mexicans on death row in America be allowed consular access, as required by a treaty to which the US is a signatory.
We are one of the few developed nations in the world who still execute people. No country in Europe does, and neither do Canada nor Mexico. It’s bad enough that we allow our government to kill our own people, now they’re killing foreign nationals — and breaking international law along the way:
The International Court of Justice in The Hague has twice in the past five years ruled that the US should hold hearings on the status of foreign nationals on death row. The White House had asked Texas at least to delay the execution. But on Tuesday night, Texas defied George Bush and the world after a last-minute appeal to the US Supreme Court on behalf of Medellin was turned down.
And yes, we know the state of Texas does love the execution. They are number one in this country for executions. And even though one of their own In George W. Bush — who certainly let them continue when he was governor — requested that they not execute this foreign national, Texas went ahead and did it anyway.
Even George knows this is not a good idea right now. Duh.
And this is again why I continue to say that we must insist that our Democratic nominee for president stand firm on the issues. I am extremely disappointed that Barack Obama has stood with the death penalty for those particularly “heinous” crimes, (and here’s the flaw in that: at what point does a crime become more heinous than another? No, you’re against it, or your not.) However, I would like to think that were he in the White House, Barack Obama would stand up to Texas, would use his political avenues to stop this from happening. I would like to think, anyway.