President Bush plans to stop the execution of convicted murderer Jose Ernesto Medellin and 50 other Mexican-born death row inmates on the grounds that their convictions violated their rights to seek legal assistance from the Mexican government.
Yes, you read that right. Bush is stopping the execution because the inmates didn't get a chance to speak to a lawyer.
The 1963 Vienna Convenction on Consular Relations [pdf] guarantees that Medellin, who was convicted of killing two Texas woman was allowed to request legal counsel from Mexico before his trial, which the police who arrested him forgot to inform him of.
But the US court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Sep 24th rulled that foreign prisoners do not have a cause of action onder the Vienna Convention if police do not inform them of their right under the treaty to call the accused's home country embassy following arrest.
But that doesnt stop our fearless leader from stepping in and pushing his weight around.
A statement from the US Government says that Bush is stopping hte execution and supporting this decision because "he would like to protect our [his] intrests abroad."
I just wrote this and I still cant believe it.
So while its OK to rape the constitution and violate the Geneva convention whenever he feels like it, when it comes to fighting "terrorism" and keep hundreds of priosoners (sorry, "detainees") locked up in places like Guantanamo bay for years without access to a lawyer - Bush feels free to follow the rules of justice whenever his (sorry, OUR) interests are at stake.
I wonder if "protecting our interests abroad" has anything to do with the behind closed-door deals the US is having with Mexico to establish the Trans-Texas Corridor or - if you can believe it- the merging of the US with Canada and Mexico to for the so-called American Union.
And how much coverage has this issue had in the media? Almost nothing. Only a handful of websites even return a hit when searching for the name "Jose Ernesto Medellin." The conservative-biased college paper of the University of Texas, "The Daily Texan" listed it in their "Noted in passing" section of the paper.
I guess the fact that UT got their asses kicked in football this weekend is more important that the president of the country picking and choosing when he is going to follow the law.