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Author Topic: Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected  (Read 1643 times)

Asch

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Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected
« on: July 07, 2011, 09:19:09 pm »
http://news.yahoo.com/texas-executes-mexican-court-stay-rejected-233305430.html

Regardless of the ethics of state executions I found the diplomatic angle interesting.

RandallS

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Re: Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 09:46:21 pm »
Quote from: Asch;2781
http://news.yahoo.com/texas-executes-mexican-court-stay-rejected-233305430.html

Regardless of the ethics of state executions I found the diplomatic angle interesting.

This is an example of what other countries often find strange about the US Federal system. The national government can make treaties with other countries that it lacks the powers to enforce on the states because the federal government's powers are very limited (compared to those of other national governments). State powers trump national powers in certain areas -- a concept many not from the US have trouble understanding.

Even this bill -- if passed (which is unlikely) -- would not be able to directly interfere with the states by requiring them to notify the arrested foreigner consulate as required by the treaty -- the Constitution just doesn't give that power to the federal government. All it would do is allow the federal courts to consider whether notifying the consulate would have been likely to make a difference in the outcome of the case in appeals.
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sailor

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Re: Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 12:17:13 am »
Quote from: Asch;2781
http://news.yahoo.com/texas-executes-mexican-court-stay-rejected-233305430.html

Regardless of the ethics of state executions I found the diplomatic angle interesting.

 
As Randall pointed out, there is the State vs Federal issue.  There is also the need for enabling legislation.

Some treaties are self-enforceing.  Other's need to have the various national govts pass laws to comply with the treaty.

Oh, apparently he had been in the US since age 2. Not sure if he was here legally or illegally. Either way, would he have thought of himself as a Mexican national who should ask for consulor help?

Asch

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Re: Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 02:15:55 am »
Quote from: sailor;2848

Oh, apparently he had been in the US since age 2. Not sure if he was here legally or illegally. Either way, would he have thought of himself as a Mexican national who should ask for consulor help?

 
Doesn't matter if he was here legally or otherwise - though I assume it was legally as they clearly had information about his family in the U.S. and their status was never mentioned - either way he'd be a Mexican national.

RandallS

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Re: Texas executes Mexican after court stay rejected
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 08:08:03 am »
Quote from: sailor;2848
Some treaties are self-enforceing.  Other's need to have the various national govts pass laws to comply with the treaty.

Even self-enforcing treaties can't bind the states if the federal government could not constitutionally pass a law to the same effect. For example, if the US government signed a self-enforcing treaty requiring no jail time for theft under $100 dollars, the federal government would not be able to send people to jail for theft under $100 on federal lands/federal property, but the courts would rule that the states were not affected -- because crimes on state land are not under federal jurisdiction and the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to set penalties for state crimes nor to restrict those penalties except in specific cases enabled by amendments to the constitution.

To truly enforce the treaty on the states would likely require the US Constitution to be amended. While this is easily done in many countries (often simply by a super-majority vote of their national legislature) is it very hard to do in US as it requires that super-majority vote of Congress plus the approval of at least three-quarters on the states (either by their state legislatures or by specially called conventions in each state -- as Congress sets). And the chance of at least three-quarters of the states agreeing to cede this power to the federal government is pretty slim.
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