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View Full Version : Bush Overruled by Supreme Court in TX Death Penalty Case


EnderWiggin
03-26-2008, 12:06 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/washington/25cnd-texas.html?em&ex=1206590400&en=5eb899f8e9ba1726&ei=5087%0A
http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/SCOTUS/story?id=4520197&page=1

Summary: The supreme court ruled today that President Bush had no power to tell the State of Texas to reopen the case of a Mexican who has been condemned for murder and rape. By 6 to 3, the court ruled that the president went too far in 2005, when he decreed that the states had to abide by a 2004 decision by the World Court. That decision found that several dozen Mexican citizens who had been sentenced to death in the United States had not been given the assistance from Mexican diplomats that they were entitled to receive under an international treaty.

But it's not that simple. I know this sounds crazy, but I actually agree with our President for once.

What we did by not notifying this man of his rights and not contacting the Mexicans, which were both granted to him by a World Court decision on the Vienna Convention (Artice 36, and we were signatories on it) was wrong. If someone's not read their mirandas in the US, the case usually has evidence thrown out, or it becomes a mistrial.

But here, when the man is sentenced to die, TX is refusing to reexamine the case, even at the President's (since it can't be official without congress, hence the decision of the S. Court) unofficial orders.

I know that Bush is just pushing his anti-death penalty agenda here, but I agree with what he's saying without the motives. Before we kill this man, even if he did do the despicable things he's accused/convicted of, maybe we should allow him to his right of, oh, I don't know.... due process? Something called the 5th amendment of the constitution? And before anyone bites my head off, I know this isn't technically a legal right, since it's not in our laws... but come on! We signed this! We agreed with this! But now, when it comes time to follow it, we're ignoring it and continuing on in our arrogant way.

Comments? Thoughts? Disagreements?

_EW_

Tommycat
03-26-2008, 01:14 AM
Honestly, It's hard for me to really make a decision on this. I know that for one the president does not have the power to overstep the decision of the Great State of Texas(smile mimartin). I personally am for the DP. Not to mention that here in AZ we had a few problems with criminals that we notified the Mexican Government about, they demanded them back, we gave them back, then we have them again for another crime here in AZ(Sherrif Joe put a stop to that... No more get out of jail free and come back in a week criminals).

I dunno, If you commit a crime in another country, you should be held accountable to that country's laws. And as far as I understand it, that mexican citezen was afforded all the rights of council that any US Citizen is afforded. Basically, "If you cannot afford an attourney, we'll give you the dumbest lawyer we can find"

Arcesious
03-26-2008, 01:19 AM
I dunno, If you commit a crime in another country, you should be held accountable to that country's laws.

Agreed.

Please avoid these kinds of one-word responses--they're considered spam. ;) --Jae

Achilles
03-26-2008, 01:35 AM
I know that Bush is just pushing his anti-death penalty agenda here Huh?! Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Bush set some sort of record for capital punishment while governor of Texas?

"Culture of Life". Riiiiiiiiiiight.

EnderWiggin
03-26-2008, 02:01 AM
Huh?! Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Bush set some sort of record for capital punishment while governor of Texas?

"Culture of Life". Riiiiiiiiiiight.


Hmm..... I seem to have been mistaken in my thinking. It is pretty late here, and I apologize.

@the other posters:

The problem is not that "oh, he committed it here so should be punished here." That's not the dispute. The dispute is, "Oh, he committed it here and I know we're supposed to notify the Mexicans because we signed that thing called Vienna. Oops."

Should the case be reexamined because of the errors on the part of Texas?

_EW_

Web Rider
03-26-2008, 02:01 AM
Can't say I agree with the World Court...for a simple reason: if the criminals are found to have not been told of their rights, they get off scott free on a technicality. Which is unacceptable.

Tommycat
03-26-2008, 02:19 AM
Can't say I agree with the World Court...for a simple reason: if the criminals are found to have not been told of their rights, they get off scott free on a technicality. Which is unacceptable.
Um... Miranda? same thing really.

My problem with the World Court is that it trumps state's rights which is against our Constitution.

Totenkopf
03-26-2008, 02:33 AM
Given that Mexico would probably have demanded his release and then done what it's done in AZ, no. I'm reasonably sure that Bush's not acting on this for anything other than political motivations (perhaps he's in Mexico's pocket, so to speak). He did the crime, now he can do the time (what little he may have left).

Arcesious
03-26-2008, 10:02 AM
In order to fix this problem, we need to make a new set of laws that are internationally accepted, and the criminal would get the same punishment wherever he goes. The only problem is getting all of the countries to accept an 'International Constitution'.

JediRevan
03-26-2008, 11:32 AM
If the Mexican in question is a legal resident of the United States, the State of Texas doesn't have to inform the Mexican Embassy or diplomats. If he isn't a legal resident, they shouldn't have to inform them because the person is here illegally.

Mexico doesn't return convicted rapists to the United States, but let a bounty hunter go after the rapist and they want the bounty hunter extradited.

JCarter426
03-26-2008, 11:39 AM
Was President Bush right (for once)? Maybe. But should he have been overruled? Absolutely. These days, the President of the United States has way too much power as it is, and it's because Congress or the Supreme Court usually turns a blind eye.

JediMaster12
03-26-2008, 01:05 PM
Did anyone forget to mention that our detainees were denied habeas corpus? True they are considered a danger, much like our Japanese citizens were in '42 but at least then the Japanese had the right to habeas corpus. Now our Arabic detainees cannot demand that. Seems to me that Bush is trying to right a few wrongs by interferring with the case unofficially in order to leave office witha bit of popularity. As if he had any from me :xp:
However if the man's "miranda" under world court were not stated, then the case should be retried. Or better yet why did no one say anything during the proceedings?

Totenkopf
03-26-2008, 01:20 PM
Was President Bush right (for once)? Maybe. But should he have been overruled? Absolutely. These days, the President of the United States has way too much power as it is, and it's because Congress or the Supreme Court usually turns a blind eye.


That is also pretty much the same reason that the USSC legislates from the bench as well, not to mention many of the lower courts as well. Congress has long shirked it's duty to handle controversial legislation b/c the members are more fixated on perenially running for reelction and hate the idea of taking a stand on issues that might cost them votes.

mimartin
03-26-2008, 01:43 PM
Huh?! Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Bush set some sort of record for capital punishment while governor of Texas?

"Culture of Life". Riiiiiiiiiiight.Don't know about that, but I do know he was governor when the first woman since the Civil War was executed in Texas.

Achilles
03-26-2008, 01:56 PM
Don't know about that, but I do know he was governor when the first woman since the Civil War was executed in Texas.1,100 executions since 1976. 405 of those in Texas. 152 of those while Dubya was governor.

tk102
03-26-2008, 02:04 PM
http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/georgewbush/articles/story/5924840/bush__the_texas_death_machine

mimartin
03-26-2008, 02:21 PM
1,100 executions since 1976. 405 of those in Texas. 152 of those while Dubya was governor. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/georgewbush/articles/story/5924840/bush__the_texas_death_machine I had no clue, really proud to be a Texan now. Thanks for the link, Bush is right about one thing, it is a deterrent against getting charged with a crime for me now, after reading tkís link. I had no clue Texas does not pay for public defenders. Donít get charged with a crime, if you canít pay the lawyer. Texas does not pay for public defenders, yet Bush cut down on the appeals process? Yea that makes perfect sense in his own little world.

Achilles
03-26-2008, 02:37 PM
Makes you view his "sanctity of human life" rhetoric a little differently, eh? :(

Jae Onasi
03-26-2008, 03:41 PM
Before this train of thought goes any farther, sanctity of life in regards to abortion is off topic for this thread.

Samuel Dravis
03-26-2008, 04:51 PM
Mexico doesn't return convicted rapists to the United States, but let a bounty hunter go after the rapist and they want the bounty hunter extradited.Something of note here is that Mexico does not have the death penalty.

If you thought the death penalty immoral, would you actually want to give someone over to a state that's quite glad to chop off heads? I think some might consider that immoral, as well.

mimartin
03-26-2008, 04:59 PM
Something of note here is that Mexico does not have the death penalty.

If you thought the death penalty immoral, would you actually want to give someone over to a state that's quite glad to chop off heads? I think some might consider that immoral, as well.Is there a death penalty for rape? I don't even believe Texas has gone that far, yet aleast.

Web Rider
03-26-2008, 05:44 PM
Something of note here is that Mexico does not have the death penalty.

If you thought the death penalty immoral, would you actually want to give someone over to a state that's quite glad to chop off heads? I think some might consider that immoral, as well.
The death penalty was given for the manner in which the crime was committed and the age of the girls who were killed.

If the crime was simply "rape" then a death sentence is unlikely. However, given that the girls were 14 and 16, raped, and then murdered, murdered in a horrible manner to "protect" the criminals, that's what earned them this penalty.

Um... Miranda? same thing really.
I am aware that such a technicality exists in our own laws. In such a case, it is equally unacceptable. The fact that somebody was or was not read their rights IMO should not be reason for them to be excused from their crime. The crime was still committed, and in such cases, I care little for their "rights".

JCarter426
03-26-2008, 06:18 PM
I am aware that such a technicality exists in our own laws. In such a case, it is equally unacceptable. The fact that somebody was or was not read their rights IMO should not be reason for them to be excused from their crime. The crime was still committed, and in such cases, I care little for their "rights".

Slippery slope, slippery slope.

Samuel Dravis
03-26-2008, 07:13 PM
The death penalty was given for the manner in which the crime was committed and the age of the girls who were killed.

If the crime was simply "rape" then a death sentence is unlikely. However, given that the girls were 14 and 16, raped, and then murdered, murdered in a horrible manner to "protect" the criminals, that's what earned them this penalty.Mexico doesn't find the death penalty to be a legitimate punishment. The justifications given for utilizing the death penalty here do not serve as sufficient justifications there to use the death penalty or to condone it, even if it's the US doing the killing. I'm sure they'd be happy to agree with you that the crime was horrific though.

mimartin: no, I don't think anyone's gotten death for rape here. One has almost gotten death (got saved a few hours before being executed) for being in the same car as a murderer though, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone did get killed for it sooner or later.

Web Rider
03-26-2008, 07:54 PM
Mexico doesn't find the death penalty to be a legitimate punishment. The justifications given for utilizing the death penalty here do not serve as sufficient justifications there to use the death penalty or to condone it, even if it's the US doing the killing. I'm sure they'd be happy to agree with you that the crime was horrific though.
I don't really care to be blunt. They did the crime here, people who do crimes here are subject to our laws here. If Mexico doesn't like it, they can keep the borders better in check instead of wanting all their illegals here to be citizens(and then fully subject to OUR laws).

Samuel Dravis
03-26-2008, 08:07 PM
I was merely explaining a reason why Mexico would be reluctant to extradite criminals to the US.

JCarter426
03-26-2008, 08:07 PM
If Mexico doesn't like it, they can keep the borders better in check instead of wanting all their illegals here to be citizens(and then fully subject to OUR laws).

Except that they weren't subject to our laws.

Web Rider
03-26-2008, 08:08 PM
I was merely explaining a reason why Mexico would be reluctant to extradite criminals to the US.
I wasn't taking issue with Mexico's extradition policies. I was only taking issue with saying that Mexican citizens who commit crimes against US citizens on US soil should be punished according to Mexican standards.

If Mexico wants to punish Americans who commit crimes against Mexicans in Mexico according to their laws, I think that's their right.

JCarter426
03-26-2008, 08:09 PM
I wasn't taking issue with Mexico's extradition policies. I was only taking issue with saying that Mexican citizens who commit crimes against US citizens on US soil should be punished according to Mexican standards.

But they weren't punished according to US standards; their Miranda rights were violated.

Web Rider
03-26-2008, 08:18 PM
But they weren't punished according to US standards; their Miranda rights were violated.

No, they were not. Miranda rights only include reading of your specific legal rights in the US. The WC rights given to them are not covered under your Miranda rights. The WC rights are a different set of rights.

They were punished according to US standards, not international ones.

JCarter426
03-26-2008, 08:24 PM
But you just said that someone who commits a crime in the US should be held to US standards, did you not? What makes this case any different?

EDIT: Bah! Just read the NYT article. I misread it before.

He was arrested five days later, and signed a confession after being given his Miranda rights.

That pretty much settles that matter. ;)

Totenkopf
03-26-2008, 08:31 PM
Miranda rights or no, the solution isn't to throw the case out on a technicality, but rather to discipline the officers who failed to follow procedure. I understand that the dysfunctional system works the other way, but since none of us here are making policy it doesn't really matter. I'd rather some cops lose their jobs and violent perps be executed anyway than to have it the other way around (no punishment for either). Since when does an application for extradition axiomatically mean that it will be honored? Do nations now not have a right to refuse extradition?

Web Rider
03-26-2008, 08:33 PM
Miranda rights or no, the solution isn't to throw the case out on a technicality, but rather to discipline the officers who failed to follow procedure. I understand that the dysfunctional system works the other way, but since none of us here are making policy it doesn't really matter. I'd rather some cops lose their jobs and violent perps be executed anyway than to have it the other way around (no punishment for either). Since when does an application for extradition axiomatically mean that it will be honored? Do nations now not have a right to refuse extradition?

that's what I was trying to get it. The Officers made the mistake, hold them accountable. The mistake however, does not negate the crime, and therefore, nobody should be released on that technicality.

JCarter426
03-26-2008, 08:59 PM
Well, just because it's an unjust law doesn't mean it can be ignored. It should be repealed.

Totenkopf
03-26-2008, 09:03 PM
I agree to the second part. Fact is, for every law that's freshly minted, at least 2+ should be taken off the books. Seems that ignorance of the law may soon become a viable defense (afterall, the lawmakers don't even know what all of them are anyway). ;)

mimartin
03-26-2008, 09:05 PM
Ignorantia juris non excusat
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Totenkopf
03-26-2008, 09:16 PM
Yeah, I'm aware of the expression. :) My point was that there are sooooo many laws on the books that ignorance of the law is inevitable (especially w/in the legal community itself). I guess that's the nice thing about being in control. Such technicalities can be blithely dismissed as irrelevant as the wheels of justice inexorably flatten all before them. :D

mimartin
03-26-2008, 09:46 PM
Sorry I couldnít resist as that is one of only two Latin phrases I know.

Well the law is not a Texas law; it is part of an international treaty. In Texas, you are given a phone call, why didnít the convicted rapist and murder call the Mexican consultant. If I am arrested, is it the Police's reasonability to call my mother?

He was arrested five days later, and signed a confession after being given his Miranda rights. Crucially, however, the law enforcement authorities neglected to tell him of his right under the Vienna Convention to notify Mexican diplomats of his detention. My question is did he identify himself as a Mexican National at the time of his arrest and when they read him his Miranda? The article does not state that fact, which to me would be a deciding factor.

This is not a case where he would be let go if Texas followed the World Courts decision. He would be given a new trail and would have the help of the Mexican government. Also if I am not mistaken his signed confession would be thrown out.

Bush is correct, but personally, I hope Texas ignores the President and the World Court. It does not seem like Mr. Medellin was too merciful to the two young girls he raped and murdered.

Rev7
03-26-2008, 10:36 PM
So I assume that Medellin is (was??) a United States citizen?

SilentScope001
03-26-2008, 10:45 PM
Do nations now not have a right to refuse extradition?

I think they actually do. Countries which oppose the death penatly will usually choose not to extradite to nations who do practice the death penatly, as what Austraila did when it refused to extradite drug dealers to Indonesia.

EDIT: mimartin...uh? I, erm, know it's not good to question, but in the same thread, you appear to go against the death penatly for all cases...and then state that you happen to be for this death penatly, because he should have known that he'd be punished for his crime anyway. Um, I don't know. The ability to have two different viewpoints at the same time seems rather useful for anyone...but, ehm.

EnderWiggin
03-26-2008, 10:48 PM
Sorry I couldnít resist as that is one of only two Latin phrases I know.

Well the law is not a Texas law; it is part of an international treaty. In Texas, you are given a phone call, why didnít the convicted rapist and murder call the Mexican consultant. If I am arrested, is it the Police's reasonability to call my mother?

My question is did he identify himself as a Mexican National at the time of his arrest and when they read him his Miranda? The article does not state that fact, which to me would be a deciding factor.

This is not a case where he would be let go if Texas followed the World Courts decision. He would be given a new trail and would have the help of the Mexican government. Also if I am not mistaken his signed confession would be thrown out.

Bush is correct, but personally, I hope Texas ignores the President and the World Court. It does not seem like Mr. Medellin was too merciful to the two young girls he raped and murdered.

Texas will ignore Pres. Bush. The thing is, when you said "did he identify himself" - that's irrelevant. Obviously he would have been found out to not be a US citizen (which doesn't make him an illegal, guys, as long as he went through customs/immigration at the border) and then the responsibility is then placed on the law enforcement to immediately phone the Mexicans. The guy's one phone call has no bearing on this.

So, while I agree that the crimes were horrible, but whether or not I agree with how our justice system works, the law states that if this were miranda then he would be entitled to a new trial in which he is able to use the aid of the Mexicans. And since we signed this, Article 38, then why shouldn't the same apply?

I know it might not be just. But it's following the rules, in my opinion, which is what is needed to keep order in the world.

_EW_

@SS :lol:

mimartin
03-26-2008, 11:29 PM
The thing is, when you said "did he identify himself" - that's irrelevant. Not irrelevant to me. To me it would have a great deal of relevance in if his signed confession should be thrown out. If they knew at the time he was a Mexian National then it should be thrown out. If they had no reason to inform him of this right before the confession then it should be allowed.
So, while I agree that the crimes were horrible, but whether or not I agree with how our justice system works, the law states that if this were miranda then he would be entitled to a new trial in which he is able to use the aid of the Mexicans. And since we signed this, Article 38, then why shouldn't the same apply?Oh I agree, like I said I agree with President Bushís request. I can still have a personal view that is not legally correct.

I know it might not be just. But it's following the rules, in my opinion, which is what is needed to keep order in the world.The world is in order? :D
EDIT: mimartin...uh? I, erm, know it's not good to question, but in the same thread, you appear to go against the death penatly for all cases...and then state that you happen to be for this death penatly, because he should have known that he'd be punished for his crime anyway. Um, I don't know. The ability to have two different viewpoints at the same time seems rather useful for anyone...but, ehm.Iím not against the death penalty in all cases. I donít believe it is a deterrent and believe in most cases where the death penalty is warranted that life in prison without the possibility of parole is more of a true penalty than the finality of death. I also believe the old adage that it is better for the guilty to go free than for one innocent man to be put to death. In this case we have a signed confession so unless it was beaten out of him, it is pretty solid evidence.

In this thread, I voiced my thoughts on my own state's over use of the death penalty while at the same time not paying for public defender in death row cases and limiting appeals. Leading the nation in executions is not something Iím proud of Texas being known for.

I do not have two different viewpoints even though I can see both sides of the argument.

Jae Onasi
03-27-2008, 04:11 AM
My question is did he identify himself as a Mexican National at the time of his arrest and when they read him his Miranda? The article does not state that fact, which to me would be a deciding factor.
.
And were the cops even allowed to ask if he was or not? Some sanctuary cities in the US (I think San Antonio and Houston are 2 of them) don't allow cops to ask if someone is or isn't a legal citizen of the US anymore. Also, did he have a MX passport or some fake US ID at the time of arrest?

Web Rider
03-27-2008, 05:56 AM
Texas will ignore Pres. Bush. The thing is, when you said "did he identify himself" - that's irrelevant. Obviously he would have been found out to not be a US citizen (which doesn't make him an illegal, guys, as long as he went through customs/immigration at the border) and then the responsibility is then placed on the law enforcement to immediately phone the Mexicans. The guy's one phone call has no bearing on this.
Rights must be read at the time of arrest, not after. That's the problem. if the cops don't know the guy is a mexican citizen, say they got evidence of who the criminals were but either didn't have records of them or could not get records before the information had to be acted on, the only way to know is to be told.

JCarter426
03-27-2008, 05:47 PM
Rights must be read at the time of arrest, not after. That's the problem. if the cops don't know the guy is a mexican citizen, say they got evidence of who the criminals were but either didn't have records of them or could not get records before the information had to be acted on, the only way to know is to be told.

Well, if that were the case, then they were acting in good faith.