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Texas authorities will execute Jose Medellin, a Mexican national, on August 5, 2008, unless you contact your Representative today and demand Congress uphold consular rights through the passage of H.R. 6481, the "Avena Case Implementation Act of 2008."
H.R. 6481 is a response to the International Court of Justice's Avena decision, which determined whether the Vienna Convention rights of 51 Mexican nationals had been violated when they were detained in the United States. According to the Vienna Convention, local authorities are required to notify consular officers without delay of the detainment of one of their foreign nationals. The ICJ determined that American officials had not done so, violating the foreign nationals' Vienna Convention rights. The US was ordered to provide judicial reviews to determine if those violations affected their convictions or sentences. H.R. 6481 would provide these Avena-mandated judicial reviews.
The impact of the "Avena Case Implementation Act of 2008" will extend to all Americans detained abroad. But this guaranteed visit by an American consular officer is contingent on the weight foreign authorities give to the Vienna Convention right to have consular authorities notified without delay. What goes around comes around with international law, and H.R. 6481 would be noticed by foreign governments, bettering the chances that Americans are ensured their rights when traveling abroad.
One problem is that there is not enough time to pass H.R. 6481 before one Avena defendant, Jose Ernesto Medellin is scheduled for execution on August 5th in Texas. Write your Representative now to make sure H.R. 6481 is passed and a judicial review is applied to Medellin's case. Congress must support a temporary reprieve from execution. Without it, Jose Medellin may be unjustly executed and a dangerous precedent will be set that would jeopardize all Americans abroad.