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Texas Executes Mexican National in Defiance of World Court


Authorities in Texas have executed a Mexican-born inmate, over the objections of an international court and the Mexican government.

Jose Medellin, convicted of the rape and murders of two teenage girls 15 years ago, was put to death late Tuesday by lethal injection. The execution was delayed more than three hours while the U.S. Supreme Court debated a stay of execution. The court rejected the move in a five to four vote.

The Mexican government says it sent a note to the U.S. State Department saying Mexico was concerned about the precedent that the execution may create for the rights of Mexicans who may be detained in the U.S.

Medellin's attorneys had argued their client was not told he could seek legal help from the Mexican consulate after his arrest. They said this was in violation of a United Nations convention on consular relations.

Last month, the International Court of Justice ordered the U.S. government to grant a stay of execution to Medellin and four other Mexicans on death row in the U.S. Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the U.S. to halt Medellin's execution.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that Medellin and at least 50 other Mexican inmates should have new hearings to determine whether the 1963 Vienna Convention was violated during their arrests.

U.S. President George Bush ordered Texas to comply with the international court's ruling and reopen the Medellin case. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year Mr. Bush overstepped his authority.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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