Texas Executes Mexican for Raping, Killing Teens

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Mexican-born condemned prisoner was executed Tuesday night for the rape and murder of two teenage girls 15 years ago after a divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a reprieve.

“I’m sorry my actions caused you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek. Never harbor hate,” Jose Medellin said to those gathered to watch him die. Nine minutes later, at 9:57 p.m., he was pronounced dead.

Medellin’s execution, the fifth this year in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state, attracted international attention after he raised claims he wasn’t allowed to consult the Mexican consulate for legal help following his arrest. State officials say he didn’t ask to do so until well after he was convicted of capital murder.

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Sorry if yet another DP thread is beaten on. This is an area where I believe I still need to get input from other Christians, especially Catholic input. Thank you.

as someone who used to support the death penalty, I am saddened to see that this form of punishment continues. Statistics have shown it does not deter violence or crime.

I grieve for the family of the victims as well. If this is closure for them, I hope they find peace. I know if it was me, I would never be able to erase the memory of watching another person die.

I don’t know if Capital Punishment does deter violent crime. However, I do know that jail has had no deterrent on violent crime. People who commit violent crime aren’t doing it so they can go to jail. Jail is not a place that people want to go but yet crime still continues.

thought this was an interesting opinion by a former U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Venezuela and Mexico :

*I am not personally opposed to the death penalty. But this case is not about the United States’ or Texas’ rights to implement criminal laws. This case is about our unequivocal treaty obligation to comply with an International Court of Justice judgment and the Vienna Convention, which has allowed diplomats such as myself to save hundreds if not thousands of American lives.

The proposed legislation in Congress is a laudable step, but Congress should move swiftly on it to ensure this country’s commitment to its treaty obligations. Meantime, Texas should not move forward with its planned executions while the political branches of the U.S. work to ensure compliance with the ICJ’s judgment. A failure to honor our obligation here may undercut our ability to protect our own citizens overseas.*

latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-davidow4-2008aug04%2C0%2C6239767.story

apparently there are 51 other cases like this.

Does anyone know how many states give life incarceration sentences such that the convict has 0.0000% chance of being released? Just curious.

Not sure but the criteria you posed is not normally a reason the death penalty is assigned.

The ambassador is right. This would not be a good time to visit Mexico. If for any reason you are detained, and ask to have the US embassy contacted…

What do you think they would do?

The most serious upshot of this is that it gives other nations an excuse to violate the same treaty Texas violated. And that puts Americans in danger anywhere in the world.

The problem of course, is that this individual really deserved to die. And the police could have prevented the problem by following the law with regard to foreign nationals. But they didn’t. And it can’t now be remedied.

A tragedy for many Americans in the making.

I assume that you mean the death penalty is often assigned for retribution (or closure)?

Anyway I think it’s important to consider whether any state has a strict life imprisonment sentence. As the Catechism says, the death penalty is not necessary if other means are available to protect the society. For heinous criminals, that only happens if they can be separated from everyone else for the rest of their lives.

For heinous criminals, that only happens if they can be separated from everyone else for the rest of their lives.

the best way to do this is by firing squad–they’re gone for good.

The most serious upshot of this is that it gives other nations an excuse to violate the same treaty Texas violated. And that puts Americans in danger anywhere in the world.

i don’t think mexico really cares what happens to this guy.

Especially those that plan on commiting rape, torture and murder against teenage girls.

I attempt to align myself with Church teaching on this subject and am generally satisfied if someone is in prison for life without parole. I have told my family that if I am murdered and the perpetrator is caught that my wish is for life rather than the death penalty.

However, there are criminals that continue to perpetuate crimes both in the prison system and outside the prison system, still being able to carry out murders and such through instances of gang members, etc. that I don’t feel the death penalty should be condemned completely as just punishment. :twocents:

Well, it will certainly deter him from raping and murdering again, which is the only deterrence that matters.

DaveBj

I have to disagree. I think deterrence of others, hopefully in large numbers, would matter as well.

It puts every American life traveling overseas in jeopardy. Not just those guilty of committing crimes.

Only in countries with dubious reputations. I doubt American lives will be endangered in Britain, France, Spain, etc.

The idea of using or not using the DP as a deterrent is something I was hoping would come up in the thread and I’d like to discuss it a bit iffen you don’t mind.

The DP is an area where I feel my conscience is not formed completely around the teachings of the Church and I think I hold on to an incorrect emotional response of revenge and I tag it with the term “justice.”

What I’m trying to say is that I just want to be honest and open about whatever we toss back and forth OK?

I hold that punishment for crimes (I’m in the US so that’s my frame of reference) is individualized. Each person charged faces a judge and jury as a single person. As far as punishment being a general deterrent I think that has merit but it is not an end to the judicial system. We do not use humiliation or public punishment. Those would be cases that would highlight a deterrent. “See Johnny? Want to be caned in the public square like this fool? No? Then you better not steal from the candy store.” The same holds for the DP. We don’t hang them in public anymore, it’s much more sanitized and individualized. The DP is only a deterrent to the one being executed it is not used as a deterrent to those that might commit capitol crimes in the future. I have a hard time understanding the argument against the DP by it not being a deterrent. Since criminal punishment is individualized, the DP is the only 100% effect deterrent against future capitol (or any) crimes that there is.

Barbarian observes:
The most serious upshot of this is that it gives other nations an excuse to violate the same treaty Texas violated. And that puts Americans in danger anywhere in the world.

Especially those that plan on commiting rape, torture and murder against teenage girls.

Or who might be falsely accused. Nah, that would never happen in some other country, would it?

Our sympathy should not be on the criminal who committed the crime and paid for it. Our sympathy should be for our fellow Americans who may find that the treaty protecting them may not be in force in certain places anymore, since we abrogated it here.

I have a hard time understanding the argument against the DP by it not being a deterrent. Since criminal punishment is individualized, the DP is the only 100% effect deterrent against future capitol (or any) crimes that there is.

It’s a reasonable hypothesis, and you have a way to test it. There are fifty states, some of which have the death penalty, and some which do not.

Why not graph the number of executions against the murder rate rate for each state to see if the death penalty has any effect?

Let us know what you find.

That would be an exceptionally poor statistical technique but you could do that if you were really bored.

Generally I’m opposed to the death penalty, mostly because I don’t trust the government with it.

However, the more I’m reading about the assaults against prison guards by those convicted for life, I’m starting to have doubts.

Some of these prisoners are the most violent people on earth. They have nothing to lose, attacking prison guards or other prisoners, and the events taking place in our maximum security prisons, makes it difficult to defend opposition to the death penalty.

Jim

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