League of United Latin American Citizens

With approximately 115,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 600 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups.

Historically, LULAC has focused heavily on education, civil rights, and employment for Hispanics. LULAC councils provide more than half a million dollars in scholarships to Hispanic students each year, conduct citizenship and voter registration drives, develop low income housing units, conduct youth leadership training programs, and seek to empower the Hispanic community at the local, state and national level.

RESOLUTION

The Case of Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna

WHEREAS, Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna is a Mexican national facing imminent execution in Texas after 22 years on death row

WHEREAS, he has always maintained his innocence and no physical evidence of any kind links him to the crime;

WHEREAS, the Texas authorities violated their binding treaty obligation by failing to inform Mr. Fierro, upon arrest, of his right to seek consular assistance.

WHEREAS, Mexican consular authorities were thus unable to provide Mr. Fierro with crucial consular assistance to remedy serious irregularities in his interrogation and subsequent trial;

WHEREAS, his conviction and sentence rest on his so-called 'confession' to the murder;

WHEREAS, the appeal courts have concluded that his confession was coerced through threats of torture and that the police committed perjury to conceal their illegal conduct;

WHEREAS, the trial prosecutor has now stated that he would have moved to suppress the illegal confession and would have dismissed the charges without additional evidence;

WHEREAS, a Texas court determined in 1996 that the Fierro conviction should be reversed and a new trial held;

WHEREAS, the retrial has never taken place because the state of Texas has repeatedly appealed that ruling; noting that more than 100 prisoners have been released nationwide on grounds of innocence, and that many of these wrongful convictions were based on coerced confessions;

WHEREAS, LULAC is deeply concerned that Texas will execute Mr. Fierro despite grave and unresolved questions over the fairness of his conviction and his possible innocence;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this National Assembly publicly expresses its full support for the legal efforts to obtain a reversal and new trial for Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LULAC National take immediate action on the Fierro case, by every appropriate means;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, LULAC will publicly call on the Texas authorities to grant clemency to Mr. Fierro by commuting his death sentence.

Submitted by LULAC Council #132, El Paso, Texas.

Approved this 29th day of June, 2002.

Hector M. Flores
LULAC National President



European Parliament

Parliamentary questions
WRITTEN QUESTION E-0498/03

by Jules Maaten (ELDR) to the Council

(12 February 2003)

Subject: Statement by the Texas authorities that they intend to disregard the judgment of the International Court of Justice concerning the execution of three Mexicans

1. Is the Council aware of the judgment of the UN International Court of Justice that the execution of three Mexicans in the US State of Texas should not take place and of the reaction of the Texas authorities who intend to disregard that judgment?

2. Is the Council aware that this involves multiple breaches of the Vienna Convention and, in particular, failure to provide consular assistance to foreign nationals?

3. Can the Council indicate its reaction to the judgment of the International Court of Justice and state what action the Greek Council Presidency will take to prevent the executions?

4. Does the Council realise that the breaches of the Vienna Convention involved may have implications for citizens of the Member States of the European Union currently detained in the US or for such citizens who are arrested in the United States in the future?

5. Is the Council prepared to draw the attention of the United States' authorities to the fact that commitments entered into under the Vienna Convention, including consular assistance, are fully applicable to citizens of the Member States of the European Union?


Amnesty International

News Service 173/97

AI INDEX: AMR 51/60/97

EXCERPTS FROM A
PRESS STATEMENT DELIVERED BY PIERRE SANÉ ,
SECRETARY GENERAL OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL,
FOLLOWING DEATH ROW VISIT
TEXAS -- 9 OCTOBER 1997


It is therefore with great sadness and anger that I stand before you today having just visited the 440 men that the state of Texas has deemed unfit to live. As the rest of the world continues to turn its back on the use of the death penalty, Texas is escalating its state killing. As the majority of nations realize that the death penalty brutalizes society, that it is not effective as a crime control measure and that it has no place in the modern world, Texas moves into the higher league of state-sanctioned murder along with countries such as Iraq, Iran, China and Nigeria. ..

Perhaps most alarming of all are the prisoners condemned to die who are not guilty of the crime for which they were convicted. Seven men have been released from this prison after being condemned for crimes for which they are innocent.  On average, they spent over 10 years on death row before being cleared by the appeals process. However, rather than add further safeguards to ensure that innocent people are not killed by the state, Texas has passed legislation that will shorten the time taken by legal appeals. How many innocent people will Texas execute before it realizes that any justice system is fallible; and that the death penalty is irreversible and that mistakes cannot be rectified?

Cesar Fierro, a Mexican national, was convicted and sentenced to death after threats were made to his family in order to obain a confession from him. He knew that the Mexican Police were holding his mother and step-father without charge, and was told by the Texan Police that they would be tortured if he failed to confess. The prosecutor in the case has since signed an affadavit stating that he believes the Mexican and Texan police officers conspire dto force the confession from Mr Fierro. Had the prosecutor been aware of this at the time of his trial, he would have joined with the defence team's motion to have the confession thrown out. He now believes that without the forced confession, the charges against Mr Fierro would have been dropped. Twelve Mexican nationals are under sentence of death in Texas. None of them were informed of their right to seek assistance from the Mexican Consulate.  This a violation of international law; specifically of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which was signed by the USA in 1963...

The US Supreme Court has spoken of an "evolving standard of decency" for society in its rulings. Now Texas must evolve to a standard of decency whereby it abandons its use of capital punishment. The time has come for the state of Texas to end its use of state-sanctioned killings. The conveyor belt of death must stop.