"Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. ... If it is, then we have no Constitution. To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." — Thomas Jefferson
At 6:21 Central Time on July 7, 2011 the 16 year saga of Humberto Leal Garcia came to an end in a Huntsville Texas prison when he was executed by lethal injection for the brutal rape and murder of a 16-year old girl. The 38-year-old Mexican man was executed in Texas for the rape-slaying of a San Antonio teenager after White House-backed appeals to spare him were rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
His punishment capped a flurry of appeals that argued he deserved additional court review of his case because authorities didn’t tell him he could seek legal help from the Mexican government when he was arrested for the murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda in 1994.
President Barack Obama‘s administration had joined with Leal’s attorneys, arguing a delay was warranted so legislation covering cases like his could work its way through Congress. Lawyers for the state of Texas opposed the appeals, saying un-passed legislation was not law.
Fox News reported last night:
“The Mexican National who was convicted of the brutal rape and killing of a teenage girl in 1995 died Thursday evening by lethal injection at a Texas prison.
Efforts by Humberto Leal's attorneys to halt the execution fell short, with the U.S. Supreme Court turning back a stay request and Texas Gov. Rick Perry refusing to grant a pardon. He was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. local time.
In his last minutes, Leal repeatedly said he was sorry and accepted responsibility.
"I have hurt a lot of people. I take full blame for everything. I am sorry for what I did," he said in the death chamber.
"One more thing," he said as the drugs began taking effect. Then he shouted twice, "Viva Mexico!"
President Obama, the State Department and Mexican authorities asked Texas for a last-minute reprieve, citing the U.N.-enforced 1963 Vienna Treaty, which requires foreign nationals who are arrested in foreign countries the right to access their consulates
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Leal's request, calling his argument meritless.
In a 5-4 decision an hour before the execution, the majority wrote, “We have no authority to stay an execution in light of an 'appeal of the President,' presenting free-ranging assertions of foreign policy consequences, when those assertions come unaccompanied by a persuasive legal claim.”
After the decision, Sandra L. Babcock, an attorney for Leal, issued a statement linked to Twitter, saying her client will "suffer the consequences" of the U.S. stumbling on its commitment to rule of law.
"He will be executed tonight," she writes. "Despite the fact that his right to consular assistance was violated."
Leal, who moved to the U.S. as a toddler, contended police never told him he could seek legal assistance from the Mexican government under the treaty -- and that such assistance would have helped his defense.”
The report continues with the gruesome details of the horrendous and heinous crime:
“Adria Sauceda, 16, his victim, was found naked by authorities, according to court documents.
"There was a 30 to 40-pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of the victim's skull lying partially on the victim's left arm," court documents read. "Blood was underneath this rock. A smaller rock with blood on it was located near the victim's right thigh.”
A "bloody and broken" stick roughly 15 inches long with a screw at the end of it was also protruding from the girl's vagina, according to the documents.
In his first statement to police, Leal said Sauceda bolted from his car and ran off. After he was told his brother had given detectives a statement, he changed his story, saying Sauceda attacked him and fell to the ground after he fought back. He said when he couldn't wake her and saw bubbles in her nose, he got scared and went home.
Last Friday, the Obama administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Texas from executing Leal, asking the court to delay the execution for up to six months to give Congress time to consider legislation that would enforce the U.N. treaty.
Congress had three years to pass the bill but did not. Hence, it was impossible to pass a bill that would spare Leal unless a stay is ordered.
Mexico's foreign ministry said in a statement that the government condemned Leal's execution and sent a note of protest to the U.S. State Department. The ministry also said Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan attempted to contact the Texas governor, who refused to speak on the phone.
The governor's office declined to comment on the execution Thursday, but his office appeared to bristle at the idea of an international body influencing the state's sovereignty.
For 16 years, Leal has exercised his right to file appeals and motions so extensively, one judge in federal district court called his case "one of the most procedurally convoluted and complex habeas corpus proceedings" he ever reviewed.
Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Adria's father, Rene Sauceda, reportedly begins each morning by reading a South San Antonio High School newspaper clipping from May 25, 1995 — just after the first anniversary of his daughter's death.
"I look at that every day," Sauceda, 64, told the San Antonio Express-News.”
Humberto Leal was convicted by a jury on the evidence. Even his brother admitted that he had told him what he had done. There was no “reasonable doubt” in this case and the fact that a Mexican national living in this country illegally since the age of two and was not notified that he could contact the Mexican consulate had nothing to do with his innocence or guilt. He lifted a 40 pound asphalt block above his head and smashed it down on the head of a 16-year girl after sexually mutilating her. If you try to lift a 40 pound block above your head you will know how much effort is required to perform such an act.
Leal had 16 years of appeals to every court in the nation including the Supreme Court and no court overturned his conviction of found fault with his trial. He was guilty and under Texas law was sentenced to death — a penalty he so justly deserved. If we claim that the system worked in the Casey Anthony trial we must hold that it worked in Leal’s case.
The U.S. Supreme Court by its usual 5-4 decision denied Leal’s request for a stay on the intersection of President Obama, the UN and some bone-headed law professor at Northwestern University.
Cliff Kincaid writes in Accuracy in Media:
“Crime reporter and blogger Tina Trent says that President Obama’s intervention on behalf of an illegal alien killer can be traced back to a 2003 conference that featured Bernardine Dohrn, Van Jones, and representatives of the Soros-funded Open Society Institute. “The purpose of the conference was to find ways to insinuate international (read: United Nations) laws and resolutions in American legal arenas, as Sandra Babcock is attempting to do to free her client, Humberto Leal,” Trent reports on her blog.
Babcock is the attorney for a killer described in liberal media reports as “a Mexican national” who is in fact an illegal alien convicted of the 1994 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda in San Antonio, Texas. Leal was scheduled to be executed on Thursday night in Texas before the Obama Administration intervened on his behalf, claiming his rights as an illegal in the U.S., under an international treaty, had not been protected. Leal has had the benefit of 45 different hearings and appeals and his guilt is beyond question.
The issue that Obama is concerned about is whether this illegal alien was able to contact the Mexican embassy in order to protect his “rights” under international law.
Trent reports, “Humberto Leal’s defense attorney, Sandra L. Babcock, of the terrorist-sheltering law school at Northwestern University, has an interesting vitae. Ms. Babcock’s research interest is imposing international law on the American justice system, a hobby she practices with her colleague, terrorist-cum-law-professor Bernardine Dohrn.”
“If President Obama, his friend Bernardine Dohrn, and Jimmy Carter get their way, the police are going to find their hands tied in ten different ways, and our criminal justice system will soon be utterly subservient to whatever the hell they dream up at the U.N.,” Trent says of the Obama Administration’s intervention in the case.
In intervening on behalf of Leal, Obama is acting on behalf of the government of Mexico.
Indeed, Babcock’s work has been funded by the government of Mexico. According to Babcock’s biography, “From 2000-2006 she served as director of the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program, a program funded by the Mexican Foreign Ministry to assist Mexican nationals facing capital punishment in the United States. For her work, she was awarded the Aguila Azteca, the highest honor bestowed by the government of Mexico upon citizens of foreign countries, in 2003.”
Dohrn is the former leader of the communist terrorist Weather Underground who, with her husband and fellow terrorist Bill Ayers, hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama when he ran for the state Senate in Illinois. She praised the followers of mass murderer Charles Manson and Manson himself as a “true revolutionary.” Dohrn and Ayers signed a document, “Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism,” dedicated in part to Sirhan Sirhan, the Marxist Palestinian who killed Robert F. Kennedy. This endorsement played a role in the University of Illinois denying Ayers, who had been a professor of education at the school, emeritus status after he retired.
For her part, Dohrn was jailed for seven months for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the murder of two policemen and a security guard in the 1981 Brinks robbery. She is accused by former FBI informant Larry Grathwohl, based on a meeting he had with Ayers, of planting the bomb that killed San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell in 1970. Dohrn denies the charge.
Van Jones, listed as being “invited” to the international law conference, is the former Obama official and self-proclaimed communist who voiced doubts that Muslims carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Trent notes that Babcock and Dohrn were listed by Northwestern as experts on human rights issues when the Chicago City Council adopted a resolution in support of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty gives a U.N. body the power to pass judgment over how parents raise their children.
Trent says that in 2003, along with the A.C.L.U., The Jimmy Carter Center, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Soros-funded Open Society Institute, sponsored a conference called Human Rights at Home: International Law in U.S. Courts. The official description said one purpose was that of “Ensuring U.S. accountability for violating international human rights principles.”
Dohrn was on the program, discussing “women and children’s issues.” Another participant was Harold Koh, now Obama’s State Department legal adviser and one of those pushing for Leal’s international “rights.
In 2004, Dohrn spoke to the Baltimore branch of the Soros-funded Open Society Institute on the subject of discipline in schools. In 1999, according to Dohrn’s curriculum vitae, she spoke at New York University under the auspices of the Open Society Institute on the subject of “Families in a Free Society.” Another Weather Underground terrorist, Linda Evans, who was pardoned and released from prison by President Clinton, received a “Soros Justice Fellowship” to promote the rights of criminals.
Trent explains the Leal case: “As per her academic research and this movement, Babcock is now claiming that the police failed to inform Leal of his right to Mexican consular support when he was arrested. Allegedly, this failure violated the rules of the International Court of Justice at the Hague: Leal, as a ‘Mexican national,’ should have simply been able to call ‘his’ embassy and the entire mess—the body, the rock, the stick, the bloody clothes, et. al. could be whisked away like some New Guinean ambassador’s parking tickets.”
She adds, “But there’s one little problem: Humberto Leal has lived in the United States, apparently illegally, since he was two. Talk about wanting it both ways: Leal was an American until the moment he murdered Adria Sauceda. That changed in the brief space between bashing in a young girl’s head and wiping down the doors of his car. Now he’s a ‘Mexican national,’ a term everyone from the President to the New York Times to “human rights” organizations (Leal’s rights, not Sauceda’s) is using with no irony and no explanation, as they lobby to cloak a killer in layers of special privileges while simultaneously lobbying to prevent police from inquiring about immigration status.”
The 5-4 decision once again illustrates the progressive left’s belief that international law should trump our Constitution. It was Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagen who wanted to bow to international law while Thomas, Roberts, Alito, Kennedy and Scalia adhered to the Constitution and its Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments. In his dissent Breyer wrote:
“Thus, on the one hand, international legal obligations, related foreign policy considerations, the prospect of legislation, and the consequent injustice involved should that legislation, coming too late for Leal, help others in identical circumstances all favor granting a stay. And issuing a brief stay until the end of September, when the Court could consider this matter in the ordinary course, would put Congress on clear notice that it must act quickly. On the other hand, the State has an interest in proceeding with an immediate execution. But it is difficult to see how the State's interest in the immediate execution of an individual convicted of capital murder 16 years ago can outweigh the considerations that support additional delay, perhaps only until the end of the summer.”
It is amazing how the leftist judges will take the side of a brutal rapist and murderer of a 16-year old girl and bring their sympathies to bear on him while not batting an eyelash over the murder of an unborn child.
Two cases of the execution of foreign nationals come to my mind. The first cases involved a Swiss man in Sri Lanka that raped and murdered a 8-year boy. He was convicted and within a month he was executed. The other cases happen while I was in Singapore. Four Malaysian men were hanged within seven days of their conviction for drug dealing. I don’t know if their consulates were notified or not, but it would have made no difference. They were found guilty and executed under the laws of Sri Lanka and Singapore, not a UN treaty. In fact several years ago Michael Fay, an American citizen, was caned in Singapore for the crime of vandalism in spite of pleas from the U.S. Government and our press. It made no matter to the government of Singapore. He had violated their laws and would pay the penalty. In other cases a former Florida State football player faces caning for a visa violation and a Swiss citizen was caned for vandalism in a subway station. I can only guess what would have happened to Leal had he committed his crime in Singapore.
I am sick and tired of liberals crying over the perpetrator. In story in The Atlantic Andrew Cohen wrote a blistering attack on the Courts decision not to stay Leal’s execution. His lead was; The Court blew off warnings from the White House and Justice Department that executing the Mexican citizen would "place the United States in irreparable breach" of international law.
Right under his lead there is a photo of Leal’s relative holding a picture showing Humberto Leal and his parents prior a mass to try to stop his execution in Guadalupe. Why did The Atlantic show the photo a smiling convicted rapist and murderer rather than the photo of Adria Sauceda? My question is rhetorical as any reader of the news knows the reason why. Its to generate sympathy for the criminal not for the victim.
If Congress passes the law Obama and his lefty cohorts want the police will have to determine if someone is a foreign citizen in order to offer them consular rights, but they’ll also be forbidden to ask if someone is a foreign citizen in the interest of not discriminating against illegal immigrants, a lovely Catch 22 dreamed up by academics. This cliff we’re careening towards is permanent demotion of Americans’ legal rights on their own soil.”
Trent also criticizes coverage of the case by the liberal media, noting that The New York Times “gawkingly refers to Humberto Leal merely as a ‘Mexican citizen,’ as if he wandered over the border one day and ended up smashing a girl’s head in with a rock, his decades of residency in the U.S. tacitly denied.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry made the correct decision by refusing to grant Leal a stay of execution. By following the law in Texas, even though be labeled an international criminal, Perry allowed the execution to go forward and proved the axiom “Don’t mess with Texas.”