Jose Ernesto Medellin, whose death row appeal provoked an international dispute over U.S. treaty obligations, was executed in Texas yesterday for his role in the gang rape and murder of two teen-age girls in Houston 15 years ago, McClatchy Newspapers report. The victims’ families watched the execution. “I’m sorry my actions caused you pain. I hope this brings you the closure that you seek. Never harbor hate,” said Medellin, 33.
The scheduled 6 p.m. execution was delayed nearly four hours as the Supreme Court reviewed Medellin's appeal. The case became entangled in international politics over Medellin’s assertion that he was denied his right to contact the Mexican consulate after his arrest. An unlikely cast of allies, including the Bush administration and much of the world’s diplomatic community, embraced Medellin’s position, warning that the U.S. will be accused of violating the treaty if Medellin is executed without a hearing on his consular access claim.