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Texas Gets Its Way, Executes Medellin

The president of the United States may be the most powerful person in the world, but as the Supreme Court made clear in Medellin v. United States, even the president wasn't powerful enough to force a state to conform its criminal procedures to the rules of the International Court of Justice. Thus, the Court let stand the Texas court's capital conviction of Jose Medellin.

And yesterday, the Court refused to stay the execution to allow Congress a chance to enact legislation that might allow for further review of the case. Without a reprieve from the high court, Medellin was executed, reports The New York Times.

Scott Henson offers a post script on the case at Grits for Breakfast, best summing up the outcome in the last paragraph of his post:

This was a bizarre and complex case: I can't think of a single other instance where a state's actions violated a US treaty and it was allowed to stand by the federal courts at the end of the day. Yesterday's execution and the subsequent treaty violation it spawned will be the subject of intense debate and international controversy for many years, I'm sure, plus one suspects it may also show up as the topic of more than a few exam questions about international law.

In short, while the end may have come for Medellin, the repercussions of this Supreme Court decision will be felt for a long time to come.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 6, 2008 at 05:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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