Texas Parole Board Won’t Stop Mexican National’s Execution
AUSTIN (July 5, 2011)--The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles refused Tuesday to stop the execution of Mexican national Humberto Leal, 38, who’s scheduled to die Thursday for raping and killing a 16-year-old San Antonio girl.
The panel voted 4-1 Tuesday to deny a reprieve.
Leal still has appeals pending with the U.S. Supreme Court.
His lawyers argue that he should have had the opportunity to get legal help from the Mexican government after he was arrested for the girl's murder.
Leal came to the United States when he was about
18 months old.
Earlier Tuesday, state lawyers told the Supreme Court that Leal’s appeals are without merit and intended only to delay the punishment.
Mexico, the U.S. State Department and the White House, however, agree that Leal should be spared because of questions about whether the outcome of his trial would have been different if he had been allowed to obtain legal help from the Mexican consulate.
Last week, the Obama administration took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to delay the execution for as long as six months to give Congress time to consider legislation that would directly affect Leal's case.
Legislation pending in the U.S. Senate would allow federal courts to review cases of condemned foreign nationals.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia refused to stop the execution and ruled that Leal’s appeal had no merit.
He said the congressional measure is only a proposal that's already failed twice.
On June 27 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Leal’s appeal and motion for a stay of execution and last Thursday the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also rejected an appeal and request for a stay.
Leal’s attorney filed a petition Friday for review with the U.S. Supreme Court and also filed a motion for a stay.
Leal was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die nearly 16 years ago for the brutal abduction, rape, beating and strangulation of the San Antonio teenager.
The victim was at a party that Leal also attended on May 20, 1994.
At some point the teenager, who was intoxicated, but conscious was placed in Leal’s car and Leal drove off.
A half hour later, Leal’s brother showed up at the party and shouted that Leal had arrived home with blood on him, saying he had killed a girl, prosecutors said.
Some of the people at the party went to look for Sauceda and they found her nude body on a dirty road.
Officers reported that she was nude and lying on her back and that a bloody and broken stick protruded from her vagina, prosecutors said.
An autopsy showed that she died from blows to the head from a 30 to 40 pound chunk of asphalt found lying partially on her arm with which she had to have been struck several times.
She was also strangled and had bite marks on her body that prosecutors say matched Leal’s teeth.