Texas Executes Mexican After Appeal Rejected

Humberto Leal dies for rape, murder of teen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 11:14 PM CDT
Updated Jul 8, 2011 5:06 AM CDT
Leal's relatives in Monterrey, Mexico react after hearing news of his execution.   (AP Photo/Hans Maximo Musielik)
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(Newser) – A Mexican citizen was put to death in Texas soon after the US Supreme Court and Gov. Rick Perry rejected appeals from the White House, among others, to spare his life to protect American interests. The court, by a 5-4 majority, decided against delaying the execution until Congress could consider a law requiring court reviews in cases where foreign nationals on death row did not receive help from their consulates, the AP reports. "Our task is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be," the majority said.

Leal—who was sentenced to death in 1994 for the savage rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl—apologized for his crime and asked for forgiveness before shouting "Viva Mexico!" while strapped to a gurney in the death chamber. The Mexican government, US diplomats, senior military officials, and George W. Bush joined President Obama in calling for the execution to be stayed. The victim's mother did not agree. "A technicality doesn't give anyone a right to come to this country and rape, torture, and murder anyone," she told reporters.

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