Thursday, January 23, 2014

Texas executes Mexican citizen over objections

The 4th Execution of 2014

Texas executed a Mexican citizen on January 23, 2014. Edgar Tamayo Arias, 46, was put to death at 9:32 p.m. Central time for killing a Houston police officer in 1994, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Tamayo's attorneys fought until the last minute to save his life, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay of execution. It was denied. They argued that Tamayo had been deprived of his rights because, as a foreign citizen, he should have been informed of his right to diplomatic assistance under an international treaty known as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Tamayo's lawyers turned to the high court after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their appeal that Tamayo was developmentally disabled, mentally ill and ineligible for execution.
"If he had had the assistance of the Mexican Consulate at the time of trial, Mr. Tamayo would never have been sentenced to death," his attorneys, Sandra Babcock and Maurie Levin, said in a statement after the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay. "This case was not just about one Mexican national on death row in Texas. The execution of Mr. Tamayo violates the United States' treaty commitments, threatens the nation's foreign policy interests, and undermines the safety of all Americans abroad."
Earlier this week, the state parole board denied Tamayo's request for clemency.
Tamayo was put to death for shooting Officer Guy Gaddis, 24, who had been with the department for two years. His wife was expecting their first child.
Senior Houston Police Officer Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union, was outside the death chamber in Huntsville on Wednesday with about 20 other officers, some in uniform. Several knew Gaddis, he said.
As Gaddis' mother, two brothers, sister-in-law and uncle entered to witness the execution, they shook the officers' hands and thanked them, Hunt said.
Clark said Gaddis' mother thanked the officers again after the execution.
"We believe that Mr. Tamayo got every right guaranteed to him as any person who was here legally," Hunt said, adding that the execution was "as much justice as the family can get."
Tamayo made no last statement.

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