Cultural Revolutions

Execution Not Delayed

“Viva Mexico!  Viva Mexico!”  As he spoke those words, murderer and rapist Humberto Leal felt the gush of pentobarbital run into his arm.

Like the late, lamented Mexican hero José Ernesto Medellín, whom Texas executed in 2008, Leal and his legal backers, including the Mexican government, argued that his guilty verdict was null.  The Vienna Convention of 1963, you see, requires access to consular officials “without delay” when foreign nationals are arrested.  Police did not permit such access for the “Mexican national,” which is what “undocumented immigrants” become when they face the death penalty.  George W. Bush went to bat for Medellín; Obama went to bat for Leal.

Leal’s crime was just as brutal as Medellín’s.  Adria Sauceda was 16 in 1994 when she went to a party, got drunk, and used marijuana and cocaine.  She was gang-raped, then Leal showed up, claimed he knew her, and said he would take her home.  Sometime later, Leal’s brother arrived at the party in hysterics and said that Leal had returned home covered with blood, claiming he had killed a girl.  According to, partygoers “found her nude body lying face-up on a dirt road.  They noticed Adria’s head had been bashed in and it was bleeding.  Her head was flinching or jerking.  These party members...

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