Mexico Challenges U.S. Death Penalty Cases
St. Gerard, Vanessa, Corrections Today
The Mexican Foreign Ministry filed a complaint in January against the United States in the International Court of Justice charging that American officials violated the rights of all 54 Mexicans on death row in the United States and asking that their executions be commuted. According to The Washington Post, in its filing with the U.N. court in The Hague, Mexico argued that the United States violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which guarantees people access to their country's diplomatic missions when accused of a crime in a foreign country.
The Foreign Ministry asked the court to recommend that the United States stay all 54 executions until the court rules. It also asked the court to recommend that the death sentences be reduced to life in prison and that the men be granted new trials with lawyers provided by the Mexican government.
Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, the Foreign Ministry lawyer who filed the complaint, said state and local courts in the United States regularly assign Mexican defendants public defenders who "speak little or no Spanish and have no experience in death penalty cases. …