Texas Bent on Executing Mexican It Arrested Illegally

Lone Star state shrugs over protests as man set to die tonight
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2014 7:22 AM CST
A woman holds up a sign showing a photo of Edgar Tamayo that reads, "The town of Miacatlan offers you our support, Edgar Tamayo Arias" during a protest in Miacatlan, Mexico, on Jan. 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Tony Rivera)

(Newser) – Edgar Arias Tamayo is scheduled to be executed in Texas tonight—despite a number of high-level requests that the execution be halted because Tamayo's arrest violated international law. The Mexican citizen was initially arrested after a 1994 robbery; while in the patrol car, Tamayo, now 46, shot the arresting officer in the back of the head, killing him. But authorities never notified Tamayo that he had the right to contact the Mexican Consulate, and that failure violates an international treaty, the New York Times reports. Tamayo's attorney says he was mentally ill, brain-damaged, and developmentally disabled—"just the type of person the protections of the Vienna Convention were designed to help," the Los Angeles Times reports.

In 2004, the World Court ordered Tamayo's conviction and 50 others reviewed because of Vienna Convention violations, but Tamayo's never was; Texas says it's not bound by that order. John Kerry, a former governor of Texas, the Mexican government, and a human rights group have all asked Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the state attorney general to stop Tamayo's execution until the case is reviewed, but they appear unswayed. (Kerry expressed a concern that the execution "could impact the way American citizens are treated in other countries," CNN reports.) Tamayo's lawyers unsuccessfully filed for clemency and Tamayo's request for a stay of execution was denied; they're looking into appeal options.

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