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Texas executes Mexican man despite objections

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<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com><st1:State w:st=<st1:place w:st="on">Texas</st1:place></st1:State> executes Mexican man despite objections


High court rejected request for reprieve in case that drew global scrutiny


updated Wed., Aug. 6, 2008

<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">HUNTSVILLE</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Texas</st1:State></st1:place> - A Mexican-born condemned prisoner was executed Tuesday night for the rape and murder of two teenage girls 15 years ago after a divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a reprieve.

“I’m sorry my actions caused you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek. Never harbor hate,” Jose Medellin said to those gathered to watch him die. Nine minutes later, at 9:57 p.m., he was pronounced dead.

<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s execution, the fifth this year in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state, attracted international attention after he raised claims he wasn’t allowed to consult the Mexican consulate for legal help following his arrest. State officials say he didn’t ask to do so until well after he was convicted of capital murder.

Two teens raped, murdered

<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>, 33, was condemned for participating in the 1993 gang rape, beating and strangling of Elizabeth Pena, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 14. He and five fellow gang members attacked the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Houston</st1:place></st1:City> girls as they were walking home on a June night, raped and tortured them for an hour, then kicked and stomped them before using a belt and shoelaces to strangle them.

Their remains were found four days later. By then, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City> already had bragged to friends about the killings.

Pena’s father, who was among the witnesses, gently tapped the glass that separated him from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City> as he turned to leave the witness chamber after the execution.

“We feel relieved,” Adolfo Pena said after leaving the prison. “Fifteen years is a long time coming.”

Several dozen demonstrators, about evenly divided between favoring and opposing capital punishment, stood outside on opposite sides of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.

<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s attorneys contended he was denied the protections of the Vienna Convention, which calls for people arrested to have access to their home country’s consular officials.

“Under the circumstances, it’s hard to talk about what comes next,” lawyer Sandra Babcock said, noting her thoughts were with <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s family and the family of his victims. “But now more than ever, it’s important to recall this is a case not just about one Mexican national on death row in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Texas</st1:place></st1:State>.


It’s also about ordinary Americans who count on the protection of the consulate when they travel abroad to strange lands. It’s about the reputation of the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">United States</st1:place></st1:country-region> as a nation that adheres to the rule of law.”

International scrutiny

In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City> was born, a small group of his relatives condemned his execution.

“Only God has the right to take a life,” cousin Reyna Armendariz said.

Six of his relatives, including Armendariz, and several activists gathered earlier Tuesday in a working-class neighborhood to await word on <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s fate.

A large black bow and a banner that read “No to the death penalty ... may God forgive you,” hung from an iron fence in front of the house where Medellin lived until moving to the United States at the age of 3. He grew up in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Houston</st1:place></st1:City>, where he learned English and attended school.

The International Court of Justice said <st1:City w:st="on">Medellin</st1:City> and some 50 other Mexicans on death row around the <st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region> should have new hearings in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">U.S.</st1:place></st1:country-region> courts to determine whether the 1963 treaty was violated during their arrests. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City> was the first among them to die.

President Bush asked states to review the cases, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year neither the president nor the international court can force <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Texas</st1:place></st1:State> to wait.

Gov. Rick Perry, <st1:State w:st="on">Texas</st1:State> courts and the <st1:State w:st="on">Texas</st1:State> attorney general’s office all said the execution should go forward and that <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City> has had multiple legal reviews. State officials noted <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City> never invoked his consular rights under the Vienna Convention until some four years after he was convicted.

High court divided

His lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to stop the execution until legislation could be passed to formalize case reviews ordered by the International Court of Justice.

The high court said in its ruling that that possibility was too remote to justify a stay. Justice Stephen Breyer, one of four justices who issued dissenting opinions, wrote that to permit the execution would place the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">United States</st1:place></st1:country-region> “irremediably in violation of international law and breaks our treaty promises.”

<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s supporters said either Congress or the Texas Legislature should have been given a chance to pass a law setting up procedures for new hearings. A bill to implement the international court’s ruling wasn’t introduced in Congress until last month. The Texas Legislature doesn’t meet until January.

On Monday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request for a reprieve and denied his lawyers permission to file new appeals. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also rejected requests for clemency and a 240-day reprieve.

One of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s fellow gang members, Derrick O’Brien, was executed two years ago. Another, Peter Cantu, described as the ringleader of the group, is on death row. He does not have a death date.

Two others, Efrain Perez and Raul Villarreal, had their death sentences commuted to life in prison when the Supreme Court barred executions for those who were 17 at the time of their crimes. The sixth person convicted, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Medellin</st1:place></st1:City>’s brother, Vernancio, was 14 at the time and is serving a 40-year prison term.


Dogs catch the yawns from people

Your pooch isn't just tired, he's empathizing, study suggests

Aug. 5, 2008

<st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">LONDON</st1:place></st1:City> - Dogs find human yawns contagious, suggesting they have a rudimentary capacity for empathy, British scientists said on Wednesday.

Although yawning is widespread in many animals, contagious yawning — a yawn triggered by seeing others yawning — has previously only been shown to occur in humans and chimpanzees.

It turns out, however, that man's best friend is highly sensitive to catching human yawns, with 72 percent of 29 dogs tested yawning after observing a person doing so.

Writing in the journal Biology Letters, Atsushi Senju and colleagues at <st1:City w:st="on">London</st1:City>'s <st1:place w:st="on"><ST1:PCollege</st1:place> said this behavior showed dogs were skilled at reading human social cues and "may relate to their capacity for empathy."

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I am sure the two young girls had objections to being gang raped and killed as well.

It is a shame it took so long to end this piece of scum he should have been released into gen-pop and taken out the same way those poor girls were.

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Headline News, USA - 5th June, 2008:


Supreme Court rejects death for child rape

Ruling states execution would violate ban on cruel and unusual punishment


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a state law that allows the execution of people convicted of a raping a child.


In a 5-4 vote, the court said the law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in cases of child rape violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.


"The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. His four liberal colleagues joined him, while the four more conservative justices dissented.

There has not been an execution in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com><st1:State w:st=<st1:place w:st=" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region></st1:place> for a crime that did not also involve the death of the victim in 44 years.




Bhaktajan's comment:

Capital Punishment/Death Penalty/Execution —should be something that the guilty person should, ask for, request, demand, expect, be satisfied with, and, be thankful for.

Execution for rape & homicide for those whose crimes/guilt are known and documented on live television is the most merciful treatment for such sinful behavior.

The criminal should not be allowed to accrue anymore sins, even as small as killing an insect.


This is the best thing for redeeming the proper mind-set of the executed guilty party.

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Here is an organization we should individually send a letter to, similar to the sample below regarding flesh eating and its karmic results:



[Here is a form letter that anyone should adopt/adapt, and, send to big important people & Leaders. Ie: News paper editors, local district governers; police chiefs, mayors et al]


Dear Sir or Madame,


Seeking Inducements for Public fasting from meat products.


I am a Hare Krishna, therefore I am an orthodox Hindu Theist.


As such, it is my insignificant duty to make the attempt to strongly advice everyone, and, especially those in positions of authority as to how to perform works of good karma, at best, and, in the least, to provide a venue for people to achieve a human form of life in their next birth--in this way one can have another chance to improve their position on the path of salvation and the purposes of life.


Please consider the following compromise that will satisfy both the requirements of good social order and law, along with the base desires of the common citizens:


In order to avoid the repeated "what-goes-around-comes-around" syndrome, I, as an orthodox adherent of the rules of karma & karmic-reactions must personally admonish you to join in a movement for mass abstinence from meat eating for, at the least, for short time periods.


I must advise, that at a time of mass-abstinence and self-denial, it will be observed that all crimes will decline across the board. Also, Insurance companies and their subsidiaries, will also see a fall in food-borne illnesses and reports of hospitalizations.


Let us take a cue from the recent "Taiwan" example and learn to admit that the basis of peace starts with an absence of blood-lust; achievable by way of vegetarianism.


This is my the grass-roots effort to broadcast the workings of karma etc as found in the legacy of teachings of Bhagavad-gita as it is.




Best regards,


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Does any Hare Krishna think that these people can succeed with their plans without stopping the eating of flesh???????????????????????????


You can download Darkness to Light's 7 Steps to Protecting our Children:

Our <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com><st1:City w:st=<st1:place w:st="on">Mission</st1:place></st1:City>


  • to diminish the incidence and impact of child sexual abuse, so that more children will grow up healthy and whole
  • our programs will raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse

Prevent-a-thon 2008

Darkness to Light is hosting its 3rd annual Prevent-a-thon 2008 partnering with local businesses. The free training is provided to thousands of Charleston-area parents and youth-serving organizations on how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Held in August in conjunction with “back to school”, Prevent-a-thon™ provides daily Stewards of Children™ child sexual abuse prevention workshops to equip our community with the skills necessary to better protect the children they serve against child sexual abuse.

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