Mexico City – A clemency request has been filed with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for Humberto Leal Garcia, a Mexican sentenced to death in that U.S. state, the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been asked to "suspend the execution planned for next July 7 and to commute the sentence that was imposed for another of prison time," the CNDH, Mexico's equivalent of an ombudsman's office, said.
The International Court of Justice ruled on March 31, 2004, in the Avena and Other Mexican Nationals case that Leal's rights had been violated, the CNDH said.
The ICJ, which is based in The Hague and is the United Nations' highest judicial organ, ruled that U.S. authorities should review the death sentences of 51 Mexicans.
The international judicial panel found that the 38-year-old Leal and the other Mexicans "were denied the guarantee under international law to be informed of their right to consular assistance to mount their defense before the courts, which is established under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention," the CNDH said.
"Respect for life and bodily integrity are pillars of the concept of ius cogens, made up of a group of essential principles for civilized life among individuals, peoples and nations," CNDH president Raul Plascencia said in his signed clemency petition.
The decision made in the Leal case "will, without a doubt, be recognized by the international community as an unequivocal sign of the commitment that all authority should have to respect for life and the fundamental rights of human beings," the CNDH said.
Leal was sentenced to death in 1995 by a Texas court for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.
"Efforts should be intensified to avoid the death penalty in this and other cases of Mexicans imprisoned in foreign prisons," the CNDH said.
This position "conforms to international instruments that recognize the right to life and follows what has been established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," the CNDH said.