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Supreme Court Rejects Last-Minute Appeal For Mexican Executed In Texas

The execution at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, Texas was delayed by three hours while the Supreme Court considered and rejecteda last-minute appeal in the case of Edgar Tamayo.

The 46-year-old was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night for the shooting of Houston police officer Guy Gaddis in 1994. Gaddis was 24.

The Mexican government argued that Tamayo’s case was compromised from the start because he wasn’t informed he could get legal help from the Mexican consulate after his arrest. An international agreement to which the United States is a signatory — the Vienna Convention — obligates authorities to inform suspects they are eligible for consular assistance.

Attorneys also argued that Tamayo was mentally impaired, making him ineligible for the death penalty.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott that executing Tamayo would undermine the ability to help Americans overseas.

Tamayo’s case is not unique.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial body of the United Nations, stated that 48 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States were entitled to judicial hearings to determine whether there had been a breach of their rights.

Two executions of Mexicans have since taken place. In addition to the execution of Tamayo, Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. was put to death in the same Huntsville, Texas, prison in 2011.

Garcia was convicted of the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl. But like Tamayo’s case, Garcia’s case became an international incident for reasons similar to Tamayo’s.