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Welcome to the Brave New World Order, End of U. S. Sovereignty

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  • John P
    World - AP Europe World Court: U.S. Must Stay 3 Executions Wed Feb 5, 5:48 PM ET
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8 5:55 PM
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      World - AP Europe
      World Court: U.S. Must Stay 3 Executions
      Wed Feb 5, 5:48 PM ET

      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20030205/ap_on_re_eu/world_court_death_penalty


      By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer

      THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The United States must temporarily stay the 
      execution of three Mexican citizens on death row in Texas and Oklahoma, 
      the World Court ruled Wednesday.


      In a unanimous decision, the 15-judge panel said that the delay was 
      needed while the U.N. court investigates in full whether the men — and 
      48 other Mexicans on death row in U.S. prisons — were given their right 
      to legal help from the Mexican government.


      The World Court, officially known as the International Court of 
      Justice, is the U.N.'s court for resolving disputes between nations. It 
      has no power to enforce its decisions, and the United States has 
      disregarded them in the past.


      It is the third World Court case in five years against the United 
      States dealing with the death penalty. In a nearly identical 
      high-profile case in 2001 it found that the United States had violated 
      international law by not informing a German citizen of his right to 
      consular assistance.


      Walter LaGrand was executed in Arizona despite an order to postpone his 
      punishment until it had heard Germany's case.


      Reading the ruling Wednesday, presiding Judge Gilbert Guillaume said 
      the court supported Mexico's argument that executing the men would 
      cause "irreparable" damage to their rights if the court later finds in 
      Mexico's favor.


      "The United States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that 
      (the men) are not executed pending final judgment in these 
      proceedings," he said.


      U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands Clifford Sobel said the Justice 
      Department (news - web sites) was "studying the decision" and would 
      comment as soon as possible.


      "It's important to note that this is not a ruling on the merits of the 
      case," he said.


      It would be "premature" to say whether the United States will abide by 
      the decision, Sobel said.


      Sandra Babcock, a lawyer for Mexico, said she expects America to comply 
      because "these types of orders are binding on the United States." By 
      ignoring the decision, she said, the United States would send the 
      impression that it "didn't care about the rule of law."

      "Americans traveling abroad are more vulnerable than ever at this point 
      in time, and if the United States disregards the order of the world's 
      highest court on an issue that directly affects Americans abroad 
      (consular assistance), I think that sets a very dangerous precedent."

      Court spokeswoman Laurence Blairon said the court could in theory 
      complain to the U.N. security council — which can impose sanctions — if 
      the ruling is not obeyed.

      Mexico's Ambassador to the Netherlands Santiago Onate said the decision 
      was "a confirmation of international law."

      The men whose executions have temporarily been barred are Cesar Fierro, 
      Roberto Ramos and Osvaldo Torres Aguilera, all of whom had exhausted 
      their U.S. appeals and whose execution date was soon to have been 
      scheduled.

      Fierro and Ramos are imprisoned in Texas, and Aguilera is in Oklahoma.

      Of the three convicted men, Fierro's case is the best-known. He was 22 
      years old when he was convicted of the Feb. 27, 1979 shooting death of 
      an El Paso taxi driver, Nicolas Castanon. Despite a ruling in a Texas 
      appeals court that his confession was probably coerced, he was not 
      granted a retrial. Fierro has been on death row in Texas longer than 
      any other inmate.

      Ramos, 48, was sentenced to death in February 1992 for killing his wife 
      Leticia and his two youngest children, Abigail, 8, and Jonathan, 3, 
      with a hammer.

      Aguilera was convicted for the July 12, 1993, slayings of Francisco 
      Morales and Maria Yanez during a burglary in Oklahoma City.

      Mexico, which opposes the death penalty, filed its suit against the 
      United States last month. While it asked the court to stay the 
      execution of all 51 Mexicans on death row, the court said a stay was 
      needed for only the three most urgent cases for now.

      The court was expected to set a date Thursday for hearings to consider 
      whether the prisoners' rights were indeed violated under the 1963 
      Vienna Convention on Consular Rights.

      When the suit was filed last month, the United States argued that 
      granting Mexico's request for a stay of all executions would be an 
      unwarranted intrusion on the U.S. criminal justice system and U.S. 
      sovereignty.

      Elihu Lauterpacht, a lawyer for the United States, labeled the Mexican 
      case a publicity stunt, and said that an order to stay executions in 
      state prisons might be unenforceable for the U.S. federal government.

      The Mexicans on death row in the United States are imprisoned in 
      California, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma 
      and Oregon.


      In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. 
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
       
      Forwarded by David Lewellyn
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