Mexican Citizens' U.S. Execution Halted

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," July 16, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: United Nations highest court is now putting pressure onto United States, ordering the stay of five death row inmates in Texas until it can review the cases. Now, this comes after Mexico's request to the World Court to step in on behalf of its five citizens.

Now, one of those inmates is set to die next month for the gang rape and murder of two teenaged girls in Houston. So, the question is — does it have the authority to intervene on a death sentence on our own turf?

FOX's Geraldo Rivera joins me now, of course, "Geraldo at Large".


Video: Watch Heather's interview with Geraldo Rivera

NAUERT: Geraldo, do they have the authority to step in and tell the state of Texas that they can't put to death this man?

RIVERA: The International Court of Justice has no, you know, legal right to talk to the state of Texas, but they do have the United States.

The United States in 1963 proposed this convention, to the Vienna Convention, that all nations have the right for their citizens who have been accused of serious crimes, especially death cases, to consult their embassies in those foreign countries. We did it to protect our own travelers abroad, to give them the right to talk to U.S. embassies.

And in 1969 during the Nixon administration, we actually signed the articles of the Vienna Convention. So, clearly, the United States is a signatory to this international treaty.

Now — let me just interrupt myself and say this guy, this Medellin guy, is a rigid (ph) person, I disagree with Texas, they execute far too many people, but if anyone deserves the death penalty, this guy did. They gang raped two teenagers in Texas in a gang initiation and then murdered them with their own shoelaces. And this guy actually kept the Mickey Mouse watch of one of the victims as a souvenir. So, they richly deserved to die.

However, we never informed him, as the treaty required, that he had a right to consult the council, the Mexican official, the embassy official, during the charging of the crime.

NAUERT: Something that you see in every movie, a U.S. citizen gets detained and they say, "I want to speak to the consular official." We did not give them that and that was their right.

RIVERA: That is their right. And ironically, President Bush agrees with Mexico that we did sign the treaty and President Bush asked the state of Texas to honor this right and to reconsider this man's case because we did fail to give him the right to notify his embassy. Texas refused.

They went all the way to the Supreme Court — Texas versus George Bush. George Bush lost in the Supreme Court in 2006. The United States Supreme Court said, "Wait a second, the United States has no right to bind our component states with an international treaty. This is for Texas to decide."

So, Texas has said basically, "Screw you, Mr. President, we're not going to follow this treaty and this guy is going to die" and all this stuff.

NAUERT: So, this guy is a goner, just a few seconds left, but what does this mean for American citizens when they go somewhere else?

RIVERA: You know, what goes around, comes around. If we are going to ignore this treaty, then our travelers abroad are at their legal peril if they get in trouble.

NAUERT: All right, Geraldo, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much. We'll talk to you soon. We'll keep on top of this one.

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