State of Texas Set On Denying Due Process To Mexican Sentenced To Death: Rubén Ramírez Cárdenas (10/24/2017; 23:00)
La Cartita -- Since 2007, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights has argued in favor of providing both a stay of execution and due process - as entitled to citizens under the American Convention - to Rubén Ramírez Cárdenas. He is currently held in the state of Texas, unjustly since he was denied his right to council and, allegedly, coerced into giving multiple confessions relating to the murder of his cousin. In an act of barbarism, the state of Texas has set his execution date to November 8, 2017. According to the IACHR, Ramírez: "petition alleges, inter alia, violations of the right to due process, that Mr.Ramírez Cárdenas was not informed of the right to consular assistance, and that he was subjected to inhuman conditions of detention."Irregularities In Case: Ramírez Denied Lawyer Early In Case
Ramírez Cárdenas' and one other man is accused of murdering his 15 year old cousin in 1997. At the time, he was a security guard, and he contends that he did not commit the crime.
Prior to the IACHR's review of Ramírez Cárdenas' case, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling in 2004 that permitted Ramírez Cárdenas to more credibly claim that the state of Texas violated Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. Among other faults, the ICJ ruling, known as the Avena convention, stated that proper council was not provided to Ramírez Cárdenas. They noted he was also not informed of his right to council, and, was coerced into issuing multiple confessions. All citizens have a right to council through their home country. The Mexican consulate was never informed of Ramírez Cárdenas' detention. It took months for the Mexican consulate to initiate a legal defense on his behalf.Even Conservative Outlets Noted Irregularities
According to a Houston Chronicle article on Ramírez Cárdenas' case, there were several procedural violations coercing confessions in the initial days of his arrest in 1997: "Repeatedly, Ramírez Cárdenas asked for a lawyer, but authorities ignored his pleas until 11 days after his arrest, instead pushing on in their interrogations without telling him about his consular notification rights, Levin wrote in court filings."Tweet
In response to a US Southern Court of Appeals - where Ramírez Cárdenas submitted an appeal against his execution - on the Texas Southern Criminal Court defended the merits of their case against Ramírez Cárdenas. The court responded forcefully to the international rulings that impacted their ability to carry out any execution with impunity. William Stephens, from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, simply stated that international law and rulings had no enforcement mechanism in Texas.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) met with their counterparts in Texas on February 2017. If they ignore the IACHR recommendations, the US is once again engaged in the same behavior that they condemn and intervene for in other countries. This could set off a reaction from the Mexican side where an American is held (on a verifiable charge) of money laundering. There are also frequent arms trafficking arrests where clemency and political agitation spring Americans out of jail.Ramírez Cárdenas Has International Standing
Nevertheless, since 2007, the IACHR "asked the United States to adopt the measures necessary to protect the life and physical integrity of the beneficiary, so as not to impede the processing of his claim before the inter-American system. The Commission continues to monitor the beneficiary’s situation". However, in the state of Texas, where cruelty and vigilantism is exploited for political brownie points, Ramirez Cárdenas' rights are as victimised as much as the murder victim who may or may never receive actual justice due to the flaws in this case.