The Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty ( a registered non-profit human rights organisation working for a death penalty-free world) strongly condemns the setting of an execution date for the Mexican national, Edgar Tamayo, by the US state of Texas. The execution would constitute a clear breach of domestic and international law, and is therefore is considered illegal.
Edgar Tamayo was sentenced to death without having been informed about his right to seek consular assistance as required by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), to which the US is a State Party.
Executing Edgar Tamayo would be a violation of international law as it constitutes a clear breach of the 2004 Avena Judgement by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) - a treaty that the US became a signatory to more than 40 years ago. This is the same treaty that ordinary Americans citizens rely on for protection when they find themselves in trouble overseas. It is the same treaty that allows all Americans who are detained abroad to contact the US Consulate to help defend them and their rights.
In addition, following medical examination Edgar Tamayo was diagnosed with 'mild mental retardation' in 2008. The execution of such individuals has been determined by the US Supreme Court to violate the US Constitution.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry wrote a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the State Attorney General Greg Abbott, saying that the execution of Edgar Tamayo could have serious diplomatic repercussions. It concerns me that If Texas authorities fail to comply with the VCCR and the ICJ rulings, it will put their relations with other countries at risk, in that foreign countries dealing with American nationals may decide to do the same.
ACADP corresponded with Edgar Tamayo a few years ago after he wrote to ACADP on several separate occasions regarding the failure of Texas authorities to inform him of his 'right' to seek consular assistance. He also expressed concern that his trial lawyer spent little time (some 15 hours) of investigation on his case. Edgar Tamayo's letter writings were often difficult to comprehend and it was clear that he would be well below normal intelligence.
What exactly does Texas Gov. Rick Perry not understand regarding the following International Law:
[quote] Ten years ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the United States had violated the VCCR in the cases of 51 Mexican men sentenced to death in the U.S. - including Edgar Tamayo. [unquote]
A chilling reminder that Texas continues to be home to bitter injustice.
Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty