Jose Medellin Done
Published - Aug 06 2008 08:12AM CDT | AP
By MICHAEL GRACZYK - Associated Press Writer
A Mexican-born condemned killer whose case drew international attention has been executed over the objections of an international court and the Mexican government, which contended he was denied access to legal help from his consulate.
With the parents of his victims watching a few feet away, Jose Medellin apologized before he was executed for his part in a horrific attack on two teenage girls 15 years ago.
"I'm sorry my actions caused you pain," Jose Medellin told the teens' parents late Tuesday. "I hope this brings you the closure that you seek."
Nine minutes later, Medellin was pronounced dead. His execution, the fifth this year in Texas, was delayed for about four hours while the U.S. Supreme Court weighed his appeal.
"It's been a long night," Randy Ertman, whose daughter was killed by Medellin and five other gang members, said after watching the 33-year-old man receive lethal injection.
The appeal to the nation's highest court focused on whether Medellin was denied treaty-guaranteed help from the Mexican consulate when he was arrested.
The court rejected his request for a reprieve, with the majority opinion noting that the Justice Department had not sought the court's intervention.
"Its silence is no surprise," the court said, adding that prosecutors never wavered from their position that Medellin "was not prejudiced by his lack of consular access."
Four justices dissented.
The case attracted attention after the International Court of Justice said Medellin and some 50 other Mexicans on death row around the United States should have new hearings in U.S. courts to determine whether the 1963 Vienna Convention treaty was violated during their arrests.