skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Donald Trump is formally put up for GOP nomination and picks Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as his running mate. Former presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy and swing state delegates consider ticket.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Congressional Action May Come Too Late to Stop Texas Execution

play audio
Play

Thursday, June 16, 2011   

AUSTIN, Texas - Legislation introduced this week in the U.S. Senate gives hope to some foreigners on death row in U.S. prisons - but it may come too late for Humberto Leal Garcia, a Mexican scheduled for execution next month in Texas.

The Consular Notification Compliance Act would ensure that courts follow an international law that says people arrested on foreign soil are entitled to assistance from their home countries. Leal's lawyers are filing motions today in federal court, hoping to delay his execution so that he may benefit from the legislation if and when it becomes law.

Christopher Durocher, government-affairs counsel at The Constitution Project, supports the measure, adding that consular access is critical if justice is to prevail for foreign nationals.

"When you're brought into a foreign criminal-justice system, your lack of understanding about how that system works - to navigate that system effectively - can really have a negative impact on your ability to defend yourself."

Durocher says he's fearful that if the United States doesn't uphold its treaty obligations, other countries will view consular access for Americans as optional. More than 6,600 U.S. citizens were arrested abroad last year.

Leal is a perfect example of someone whose conviction deserves review, Durocher says, because his lack of consular access clearly impacted his ability to receive a fair trial. His execution, Durocher adds, would not come as welcome news to the 172 other signatories of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

"The United States criminal justice system is upheld as sort of a model of fairness and justice, a truth-seeking system. Our refusal to honor consular access would really reflect poorly in the international community."

If federal courts fail to block Leal's execution, Durocher says, Gov. Rick Perry should grant him a reprieve - at least until the Consular Notification Compliance Act goes into effect. Leal has always maintained he's innocent of the rape and murder of a Texas teen-ager in 1994. His attorneys say he had shoddy representation, which failed to produce a variety of mitigating facts and evidence.

More information on the legislation, which was introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is online at humbertoleal.org. The text of the bill is at leahy.senate.gov.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Wyoming's Bighorn Basin is located between mountain ranges that block the flow of moisture-laden air from both the east and west, making it one of the driest places in the state, according to the Water Resources Data System and State Climate Office. (BLM Wyoming)

Environment

play sound

Wyoming's irrigation infrastructure is aging and the state gets regular requests to update it but in some cases, project benefits may not outweigh …


Social Issues

play sound

The Republican National Convention is underway in Milwaukee and the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump is a focal point. Voters …

Environment

play sound

University of New Hampshire scientists said a common aquatic plant called duckweed could help filter polluting runoff from dairy farms and so-called m…


Water parks are a good way to keep cool in the summer but the public health experts reminded parents to always supervise children playing in or near the water. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Summer is usually a fun time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, but experts said Missourians should be taking precautions to keep a day …

Environment

play sound

Colorado is calling on solar energy entrepreneurs to put $156 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to work accelerating rooftop and community-ba…

Sen. J. D. Vance, R-Ohio, is Donald Trump's vice presidential pick. Before his recent entrance into politics, he was perhaps best known as the author of a memoir about growing up in poverty in Appalachia. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the party announced Monday Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, is the vice presidential candidate on the GOP ticket, progressive groups said they are …

Social Issues

play sound

Plenty of political and social leaders are calling for unity and condemning political violence after this weekend's assassination attempt on former Pr…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Until the pandemic, telehealth and telemedicine were still outliers in health care but they have gone mainstream, especially benefiting underserved …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021