Controversy Surges Over Garcia CaseBy: COHA Research Associate Rebecca Gorn
Last Thursday, July 7, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision to deny Leal Garcia a delay of his execution last Thursday, July 7. That evening, the convicted rapist and killer was put to death in Texas. Accused in 1994 of raping and murdering a 16-year-old girl, Garcia was placed on death row in the United States, despite his Mexican citizenship. Leading up to his execution, the Obama Administration and the Mexican government pleaded with the court to postpone the execution until Garcia was granted consular access; the denial of this international right to consult with the Mexican consulate raised an important question of whether Garcia’s trial was fair, given the Vienna Convention. According to the United Nations, the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. violated international law and the Mexican government maintained that the execution by the U.S. would “seriously jeopardize” the relationship between the two nations.