Barack Obama is trying to block Texas from executing a convicted rapist and murderer, who also happens to be an illegal immigrant.
President Barack Obama is attempting to block the execution in Texas on Thursday of a Mexican man because it would breach an international convention and do “irreparable harm” to US interests.
The White House has asked the US supreme court to put the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia on hold while Congress passes a law that would prevent the convicted rapist and murderer from being put to death along with dozens of other foreign nationals who were denied proper access to diplomatic representation before trials for capital crimes.
[…]Leal, 38, was convicted in 1994 of the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in San Antonio. Few question that he was responsible for the killing but the Texas authorities failed to tell Leal, who was born in Mexico and has lived in the US since the age of two, that under the Vienna convention he was entitled to contact the Mexican consulate when he was arrested.
Leal’s lawyers argue that the lack of consular access played a role in the death penalty being applied because the Mexican national incriminated himself in statements made during “non-custodial interviews” with the police on the day of the murder. Had Leal had access to the Mexican consulate it would have been likely to have arranged a lawyer who would have advised the accused man to limit his statements to the police. As it was, the Mexican authorities were never informed of his arrest.
Obama had the reputation for being soft on crime and criminals going as far back as his days as a state senator.
As a state senator, Obama has been no defender of the unalienable right to life. He twice voted against bills prohibiting tax funding of abortions. In April 2002, he voted against a bill to protect babies born alive after a failed abortion procedure. A similar federal law passed later that year. In 1997, Obama twice voted “present” on an Illinois partial-birth abortion ban. He absented himself from a third vote on the measure. In 2001, he voted “present” on a bill to notify parents when their minor children seek an abortion. He also voted against a cloning ban in 2000, although he voted for it in 2001. In 1999, Obama voted against requiring school boards to put Internet pornography filters on school computers meant for students’ use. In 2001, he voted “present” on a bill to keep pornographic book and video stores and strip clubs from setting up within 1,000 feet of schools and churches. In 2003, he voted in the Health and Human Services Committee for a bill requiring “age appropriate” sex-education for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Despite his talk of promoting reading among inner-city youth, Obama has repeatedly opposed bills designed to promote discipline in public schools. In 2001, he twice voted “no” on a bill to let school districts require unruly students to complete suspensions before they can be shuffled into a new school district. He voted “present” on an almost unanimously passed bill requiring adult prosecution for students who fire guns on school grounds. Obama has been markedly soft on crime. In 2001, he voted against a bill that added extra penalties for crimes committed in furtherance of gang activities. He also voted against a bill making it a criminal offense for accused gang members, free on bond or on probation, to associate with known gang members. In 1999, he was the only state senator to vote against a bill prohibiting early prison release for criminal sexual abusers.
That article was written in 2004. He hasn’t changed a bit.