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Debate over Capital Punishment Resurfaces After Texas Executes Mexican National

LADB Article ID: 80461
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-11-29
By: Carlos Navarro

Texas executed Mexican citizen Rubén Cárdenas Ramírez in early November, again exposing the differences between Mexico and some US states over the death penalty. Cárdenas Ramírez, the 10th Mexican national to be executed in the US since 1993, was convicted of kidnapping, raping, and killing his 16-year-old cousin in Edinburg, Texas, in 1997. In a last-ditch effort to halt the execution, Cárdenas’ lawyers brought the case to the US Supreme Court, but the justices declined to hear it, paving the way for Texas authorities to carry out the execution. Cárdenas, who was put to death via a lethal injection, is the third Mexican national to be executed in the last six years, all three in Texas. Authorities in that state executed Humberto Leal García in 2011 and Édgar Tamayo Arias in 2014. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), 10 Mexican nationals have been executed since 1993, nine in Texas and one in Virginia. There are 54 Mexicans on death row, according to the DPIC. In seeking a stay of the execution, Cárdenas’ lawyers, with support from the Mexican government, argued that the Mexican national had been denied consular assistance from his government, in contravention of international law. Carlos Sada, Mexico’s deputy foreign relations secretary for North America, told reporters that Texas prosecutors did not follow due process in Cárdenas’ case.

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