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Posted: 7/17/2008 4:52:30 PM EDT
www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5890690.html




Texas still plans to execute killer despite U.N. order

By ALLAN TURNER and ROSANNA RUIZ
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
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CHRONOLOGY

• March 31, 2004: The United Nation's International Court of Justice issued an order that U.S. courts must review the cases of 51 condemned Mexican prisoners. The court ruled the prisoners' rights to speak with Mexican consular officials after their arrests had been violated.

• Feb. 28, 2005 : President Bush directed state courts to abide by the world court's decision. He also asked Texas specifically to review the case of Jose Medellin, now scheduled to die by lethal injection Aug. 5.

• March 25, 2008 : The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Bush could not compel Texas to review Medellin's case. Chief Justice John Roberts said the president cannot unilaterally carry out an international treaty without concurrence of the legislative branch.

• June 20: The Mexican government made an emergency appeal to the U.N.'s highest court to block the executions of its citizens on death row in the U.S.

• July 16 : The world court ordered the U.S. to halt the five pending executions of Mexican nationals on Texas' death row.
WORLD COURT

Some facts about the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court:

• Established: 1945

• Location: The Hague, Netherlands

• Role: Judicial arm of the United Nations.

• Decisions: Binding on member countries. No appeal, the court cannot enforce judgments.

• Justices: 15 justices, each elected to nine-year terms by the U.N. General Assembly or the U.N. Security Council.

• Lawsuits: Court acts on matters brought by member states; individuals cannot bring suits.

Source: New York Times Almanac

Texas will go ahead with the scheduled Aug. 5 execution of Houston rapist-killer Jose Medellin despite Wednesday's United Nations world court order for a stay, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry said.

The U.N.'s International Court of Justice's call for stays in the cases of Medellin and four other Mexican nationals awaiting execution in Texas came in response to a petition filed last month by the Mexican government.

The petition sought to halt executions to allow for review of the killers' cases to determine whether denying them access to the Mexican Consulate after arrest impaired their trial defenses.

The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations stipulates that, upon request, an alien offender's national consulate must be notified of his arrest.

In its order, the world court quotes the Mexican government's argument that "Texas has made clear that unless restrained, it will go forward with the execution without providing Mr. Medellin the mandated review and reconsideration," which will "irreparably" breach the U.S. government's obligations to the court's 2004 order.

The Mexican government reasons that "the paramount interest in human life is at stake," according to the court's order. If Medellin and the other nationals are executed without additional court reviews, "Mexico would forever be deprived of the opportunity to vindicate its rights and those of the nationals concerned."

Perry's office dismissed the argument.

"The world court has no standing in Texas and Texas is not bound by a ruling or edict from a foreign court," Perry spokesman Robert Black said. "It is easy to get caught up in discussions of international law and justice and treaties. It's very important to remember that these individuals are on death row for killing our citizens."

But international law expert Sarah Cleveland, a professor of human and constitutional rights at New York City's Columbia Law School, said if the U.S. fails to act on the world court order, other countries may follow suit.

"This can only come back to hurt U.S. citizens when they are detained abroad," she wrote in an e-mail. " ... When a global leader like the U.S. refuses to comply with its clear international legal obligations (and everyone agrees that this is a clear legal obligation), it undermines the willingness of other states to comply with their own obligations and it inspires them not to trust us to obey ours."

Deadly gang initiation
Medellin, 33, was condemned for the 1993 killings of Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Peña, 16, who stumbled into a drunken midnight gang initiation rite at T.C. Jester Park in northwest Houston.

One of Medellin's accomplices, Derrick O'Brien, was executed in July 2006. Also sentenced to die is gang leader Peter Anthony Cantu. Three other accomplices are serving prison sentences. Medellin was the only non-American involved in the murders.

Wednesday's U.N. court decision in The Hague, Netherlands, was the latest development in an ongoing legal wrangle that has involved President Bush, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Mexican government.

In 2004, the U.N. court ordered a review of the cases of 51 Mexican nationals facing execution in the United States because they had not been allowed to speak with their nation's consular officials.

In February 2005, Bush directed state courts to abide by the U.N. court decision, specifically asking Texas to review Medellin's case.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Bush had overstepped his authority. Chief Justice John Roberts said the president cannot order such court reviews without congressional concurrence.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., filed a bill providing for such reviews. As of Wednesday, it was in committee.

Weeks after the Supreme Court's ruling, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey jointly wrote Perry asking for his help in obtaining the reviews.

The United States, they wrote, continues to be bound by the world court's decision under international law.

Girls' fathers adamant
Meanwhile, Randy Ertman, father of Jennifer Ertman, hotly denounced the world court's order for stays.

"The world court don't mean diddly," he said. "This business belongs in the state of Texas. The people of the state of Texas support the execution. We thank them. The rest of them can go to hell."

Adolfo Peña, father of Elizabeth Peña, agreed.

"I believe we've been through all the red tape we can go through," he said. "It's time to rock and roll."

allan.turner@chron.com
rosanna.ruiz@chron.com
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:54:35 PM EDT
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:55:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?




Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:56:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 4:56:38 PM EDT by TX_CO4]

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?



killem al........ I forgot does is that phrase still banned?
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:56:24 PM EDT
Tell'em to get ol' Sparky nice and shiney! We're cookin' mexican tonight!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:57:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?


Don't get us excited
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:57:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:58:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 5:07:04 PM EDT by FMJshooter]
"The rest of the country is trying to abolish the death penalty, Texas is putting in an express lane"

- Ron White
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:58:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?


I know what would happen to them in my part of Tennessee.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:00:02 PM EDT
My neighbors fuckin ROCK!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:00:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IShootPics:

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?




www.cpva-surrey.com/UN_helmet-small.jpg


LOL!!

Nice pic.

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:01:18 PM EDT
Texas State Guard?

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:01:23 PM EDT
Sounds good. I personally have no problems shooting back at the blue helmets but I doubt they have any balls to invade.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:01:30 PM EDT
Adolfo Peña, father of Elizabeth Peña, agreed.

"I believe we've been through all the red tape we can go through," he said. "It's time to rock and roll."
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:01:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IShootPics:
"The world court don't mean diddly," he said. "This business belongs in the state of Texas. The people of the state of Texas support the execution. We thank them. The rest of them can go to hell."

Adolfo Peña, father of Elizabeth Peña, agreed.

"I believe we've been through all the red tape we can go through," he said. "It's time to rock and roll."


Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:02:21 PM EDT
Who's pressing Treason charges against "U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif."?
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:02:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Texas State Guard?



Protect the laws of our country
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:03:06 PM EDT
Fuck the UN. These bastards are got their trials, now their gonna get their meals, their priests and their needles. The World Court can blow it's suggestions out it's ass!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:04:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 5:06:16 PM EDT by bloodmoon]

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?
omg NON U.S U.K Peackeepers are little fucking pussies. The Serbs proved that most of the U.N peackeepers will just lay down like bitches the same way they did in Bosnia. Hell most of Europe is a paper tiger. Most of the fighting French died in constant world wars. The Germans wiped out their fighters through relentless war. The British are more likely than not the best fighters in Europe.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:05:11 PM EDT

I'm not a big proponent of the death penalty, but I love Texas.

TX thinks for themselves. Gotta respect that.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:05:41 PM EDT
This will end well.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:06:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:07:33 PM EDT
What a laughable concept... the U.N. trying to tell Texas what to do? Yeah... that'll go over well!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:07:54 PM EDT
I can't seem to find my care meter on this one...

fry all 51 of them twice.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:08:08 PM EDT
Those two young girls were raped, beaten, tortured, sodomized and then killed, all in the name of some "gang initiation." The sooner the needle is given, the better (old sparky is retired and on display in the prison museum in Huntsville)
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:08:17 PM EDT
Times like these make you remember why you are proud to be a Texan
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:09:49 PM EDT
It looks like the Great State of Texas isn't recognizing the UN's jurisdiction, of which it has none.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:10:08 PM EDT

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:11:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zwvirtual:
Tell'em to get ol' Sparky Pokey nice and shiney! We're cookin' druggin mexican tonight!


Fixed it. Unfortunately.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:12:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?


Shit, now that might finally be something that would get me to move back to Texas.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:12:11 PM EDT
I have never been to Texas but I LOVE it anyways!!!!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:12:42 PM EDT
I dropped back in with a thought: WTF does the UN think it's going to do?

It's the coalition of nations that cannot win against a bunch of Somalians, and they want to go against the only state that has kicked another country's ass?
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:15:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 5:16:13 PM EDT by gunnut284]

Originally Posted By 134thSIGNAL:
I have never been to Texas but I LOVE it anyways!!!!


+10000

and vanilla_gorilla beat me to the "only state that's kicked another country's ass" quote.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:17:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 5:18:36 PM EDT by the_ak_kid]
I've always liked reactive targets!!!


ETA: Vanilla Gorilla, You just earned alot of points.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:20:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cool-e:
Those two young girls were raped, beaten, tortured, sodomized and then killed, all in the name of some "gang initiation." The sooner the needle is given, the better (old sparky is retired and on display in the prison museum in Huntsville)



I know they use the needle, it was a stab (get it?) at humor.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:22:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
I dropped back in with a thought: WTF does the UN think it's going to do?

It's the coalition of nations that cannot win against a bunch of Somalians, and they want to go against the only state that has kicked another country's ass?


"Texas- the only state that has kicked another country's ass."

I like that
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:23:38 PM EDT
As a Texan, let me re-iterate the message.

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:24:45 PM EDT
I agree with the UN on this one. If the defendants were not allowed to speak with the consulate, then he should have been able to do so. Beyond a reasonable doubt, right?
This could set a precedent. What will happen to an American citizen abroad when he gets pinched for a crime? The other country can use this action by the US to forbid Americans from contacting the US Embassy.
You guys need to look at the big picture. I'm not saying, "Stop the execution." I'm just saying that the cases should be reviewed. I, honestly doubt a case review will turn up anything, but I would rather err on the side of caution.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:25:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:26:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By whomper:
I agree with the UN on this one. If the defendants were not allowed to speak with the consulate, then he should have been able to do so. Beyond a reasonable doubt, right?
This could set a precedent. What will happen to an American citizen abroad when he gets pinched for a crime? The other country can use this action by the US to forbid Americans from contacting the US Embassy.
You guys need to look at the big picture. I'm not saying, "Stop the execution." I'm just saying that the cases should be reviewed. I, honestly doubt a case review will turn up anything, but I would rather err on the side of caution.


The case should be reviewed?

Death row is 99% review, 1% needle.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:26:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
only state that has kicked another country's ass?


"only state that's kicked another country's ass"

I hope you don't mind if I use this in the future as a signature line.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:27:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By whomper:
I agree with the UN on this one. If the defendants were not allowed to speak with the consulate, then he should have been able to do so. Beyond a reasonable doubt, right?
This could set a precedent. What will happen to an American citizen abroad when he gets pinched for a crime? The other country can use this action by the US to forbid Americans from contacting the US Embassy.
You guys need to look at the big picture. I'm not saying, "Stop the execution." I'm just saying that the cases should be reviewed. I, honestly doubt a case review will turn up anything, but I would rather err on the side of caution.




:cali:

do you really think we get equal justice in Mexico as it is?
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:28:05 PM EDT
I LOVE MY HOME STATE!!!

FUCK THE UN. EXECUTE THE FUCKING MURDERERS!!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:28:07 PM EDT
I do not trust the .gov to administer capital punishment. OTOH, I do not trust the UN to make an omelet and feel TX should generally be able to do what TX thinks it needs to do. Perry giving the UN the finger puts a smile on my face.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:28:21 PM EDT
I wish it was allowed to chainsaw this guy, beginning with his feet.

HH
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:28:22 PM EDT

Jennifer Ertman


Elizabeth Peña

May the condemned join his accomplices in hell.


Jose Medellin

www.txexecutions.org/reports/369.asp

Derrick Sean O'Brien, 31, was executed by lethal injection on 11 July 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the rape and murder of two teenage girls.

Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14, spent the evening of 24 June 1993, at the swimming pool of a friend's apartment complex in Houston. As their midnight curfew approached, they debated the fastest route to Pena's home. They decided to follow the railroad tracks through a city park.

That same evening, eight young men were in the park participating in a gang initiation ritual. Raul Villareal, 17, was being initiated into the Black and White gang. The other gang members present were O'Brien, Peter Cantu, and Jose Medellin - all 18 - Efrain Perez, 17, and Roman Sandoval. Frank Sandoval and Vernancio Medellin, brothers of two of the gang members, were also present. The initiation consisted of Villareal fighting each of the other gang members for several minutes. Following this ritual, they drank beer.

At about 11:30 p.m., the two girls walked by. As they passed, Jose Medellin grabbed Pena and dragged her down a hill. She screamed for help. Ertman tried to help Pena, but Medellin grabbed her and dragged her down the hill as well. The boys then raped both girls for more than an hour before beating and strangling them. Their bodies, which were left in the woods, were discovered four days later, decomposing rapidly in the sweltering Houston summer heat.

News crews came out to cover the story of two bodies being discovered in a Houston park. O'Brien was caught on videotape in the crowd that gathered at the scene of the discovery. He was smiling. He and the other suspects were arrested after police received a tip from a brother of one of the gang members.

At his arrest, O'Brien confessed that he and the other gang members raped both of the girls. He also confessed that he and Jose Medellin strangled Ertman. They wrapped his red nylon belt around her neck, then he pulled at one end while Medellin pulled at the other, until the belt snapped in two. The belt was found in a search of O'Brien's apartment.

The medical examiner testified that, in addition to both girls being raped and strangled, Ertman had three fractured ribs, and Pena had one tooth that was fractured and several that were missing, indicating that she had been punched or kicked in the mouth.

O'Brien had previously been arrested for shoplifting, assault, and stealing a car. A Houston police officer testified that, about three months before the murder, he witnessed O'Brien and Cantu punch, kick and drag a man at a fast food restaurant. Gregory Ristivo testified that he and O'Brien stole between 25 and 50 cars together, and that O'Brien also assaulted people to steal their shoes. Ristivo also testified that O'Brien and Cantu would start fights with random people.

O'Brien's mother and grandfather also testified against him at his punishment hearing, describing him as "cruel" and "intentionally harsh."

O'Brien was also suspected in the murder of Patricia Lopez, who was found stabbed to death in a Houston park on 4 January 1993. Jose Martin Medellin, the brother of Jose and Vernancio Medellin, testified that Cantu told him that O'Brien killed Lopez. O'Brien was present when Cantu made this statement, and agreed with it. O'Brien was also connected to the crime by fingerprints found on beer bottles found at the scene.

A jury convicted O'Brien of the capital murder of Jennifer Ertman in April 1994 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in May 1996. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.

Four of the other assailants that night were also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Peter Cantu and Jose Medellin remain on death row. Raul Omar Villareal and Efrain Perez had their sentences commuted to life in June 2005 because they were 17 at the time of the crime. A sixth assailant, Vernancio Medellin, who was 14 at the time, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 40 years in prison. He remains in custody as of this writing. No information was available on the disposition or status of Roman or Frank Sandoval.

The Pena and Ertman families were instrumental in getting Texas law changed so that victims' relatives are allowed to make statements at a trial's conclusion and to witness the execution of their loved ones' killers. According to Andy Kahan, crime victims advocate for Houston Mayor Bill White, 75 percent of victims' families elect to witness executions.

In September 2002, O'Brien wrote a statement advocating the abolition of the death penalty, which was posted an anti-death-penalty web site. O'Brien wrote, "I wonder how many children could be saved or kept living, who would otherwise die, with the monies, states use to kill men and women on death row ... We bear the responsibility of showing our children how to be human and if we can't then our world will continue to suffer for it. Life is a miracle and therefore precious each time one is taken before its time, the world loses something special." O'Brien did not address his crime in the statement. He refused media requests for interviews.

O'Brien's lawyer filed an unsuccessful last-chance appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, alleging that the drugs used in lethal injection "will cause O'Brien to endure unnecessary, excessive, and excruciating pain during the course of this execution." The court rejected this appeal at about 5:40 p.m., twenty minutes before the execution was scheduled to begin.

"I am sorry. I have always been sorry," O'Brien said in his last statement. "It is the worst mistake that I ever made in my whole life." The lethal injection was then started. He was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m.

Adolfo Pena, Elizabeth's father, watched O'Brien die. When asked if he witnessed any "excruciating pain," Pena answered, "I didn't see any suffering ... he just closed his eyes and went to sleep."

"I wish to God my daughter could have died like that."



-p.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:28:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IShootPics:

Originally Posted By C-4:
They may send in U.N. Peacekeepers to enforce the order. What will Texans do?




www.cpva-surrey.com/UN_helmet-small.jpg



Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:30:57 PM EDT
I remind myself that I'm stationed here in Libtard central everyday because of the Oath of Enlistment.

I will thank God when I am retired, and can move back to Texas permanently, however.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:31:58 PM EDT
Go Texas! I only live 100 miles from Texas, so I can almost claim it!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:33:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
I dropped back in with a thought: WTF does the UN think it's going to do?

It's the coalition of nations that cannot win against a bunch of Somalians, and they want to go against the only state that has kicked another country's ass?


And it was mexico's ass at that.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:34:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 5:35:47 PM EDT by machinisttx]

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
I dropped back in with a thought: WTF does the UN think it's going to do?

It's the coalition of nations that cannot win against a bunch of Somalians, and they want to go against the only state that has kicked another country's ass?


Even more amusing is that the convicts are citizens of the nation which had it's ass kicked.
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