Thursday, July 07, 2011

Supreme Court Slaps Down Obama Appeal For Mexican Rapist Murderer

The Supreme Court today refused a White House appeal to stop the execution of convicted rapist and murderer Humberto Leal. 'Slaps down' is perhaps a misnomer, since the vote was 5 to 4, and I'm sure you know whom the 4 were.

In 1994, Leal abducted and raped a 16-year-old girl, Adria Sauceda and finished off by crushing her skull with a 35 lb chunk of asphalt. When the police found Sauceda's body,it still had a stick with a screw protruding from it that Leal had used to rape her with and left shoved into her corpse.

There was never any major doubt about Leal's guilt, and he was convicted of kidnapping, rape and murder by the Texas courts. However, since he is a Mexican national who was brought to this country illegally as a child and his lawyers made much of the fact that when he was arrested he was not given the opportunity to contact the Mexican Consulate under the Vienna Convention.

Leal incriminated himself in statements made to the police he made on the day of the murder, and his lawyers claim that if he had been allowed to contact the consulate, they would likely have advised him not to speak to the police.

The Obama administration asked the Court to delay Leal's execution because of the possibility Congress might pass legislation outlawing the death penalty in these cases.

"The legislation would give Mr. Leal an opportunity to demonstrate that with consular assistance, he likely would not have been convicted, let alone sentenced to death," said Sandra Babcock, a Northwestern University law professor and one of Leal's lawyers.

Odd that a woman would want to see a murderer and rapist walk free on a technicality.Even stranger that a man like President Obama, with two young daughters, would have his Solicitor General join the fight to see someone like Leal evade justice. The 5-4 decision, with two of President Obama's appointees voting in opposition should show you just how close we are to the abyss in this country.

In any event, the Supreme court, or at least a majority of them, agreed with the prosecutors that this was just another attempt to game the sysytem, and Leal's execution is scheduled for tomorrow.

He'll certainly get a much more merciful death than he gave his victim, and he had 17 years more of life than he allowed her.

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