On April 30, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear the case of Jose Ernesto Medellin, a Mexican national sentenced to death in a Texas state court for rape and murder. But this is no ordinary death penalty case. The International Court of Justice has ruled that this case as well as fifty others were illegal under the 1963 Vienna Convention because the defendants were not provided legal help available to them under the convention. The Bush administration, which agreed to uphold the decision of the ICJ, directed the Texas courts to conduct a new trial. The Texas courts, however, declined to do so, and the Bush administration has filed an amicus brief siding with Medellin and the ICJ in requesting a new trial. You can read more about the case in this article from the Associated Press, or in Akin Gump’s Supreme Court Blog, which contains links to the merits briefs.
blogger / May 25, 2007