Edgar Tamayo had to be executed last night. The State of Texas could not wait any longer to strap him down to a gurney and pump a lethal overdose of a sedative produced by a compounding pharmacy in The Woodlands into his veins.
He was a murderer, you see. He shot and killed a police officer. He was a bad man. And letting him live any longer would be giving folks the message that... well I don't know what message it would have given them.
So we killed him.
After denying him his rights under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, that is. After thumbing our noses at the International Court of Justice, as well. Not that ignoring any edict from the International Court is news since the US just pretends it doesn't exist - unless it's going after someone we don't like.
Mr. Tamayo was arrested and charged with murder in 1994. Under the Vienna Convention he was to have been advised that he had the right to speak to representatives from the Mexican consulate. He wasn't. Mexican officials could have aided in putting together mitigation evidence that might have swayed a jury to sentence him to life behind bars. We'll never know, however, because the US Supreme Court decided that even though a treaty to which we are a signatory says something, it doesn't necessarily mean what it says.
Of course we're talking about the same august body that decided that foreign detainees on a US military installation in a third country have no habeas rights because they might have done something bad, or thought something bad or known someone who did something bad or had dark skin and an Arabic-sounding last name.
Just imagine, if you will, the outrage our government would convey if another country dared to execute an American citizen for a crime committed overseas without letting him or her speak to a consular official after being arrested. Our government wouldn't stand for such a thing. We do believe in the rule of law, after all.
But apparently that rule of law doesn't apply to those with dark skin who weren't born here and speak a foreign language.