Medellin: Did Texas Cut a Deal With Mexico?

by Peter Spiro

Okay, so Medellin himself is going down. But as Julian highlights above, Texas has now undertaken to extend some sort of review and reconsideration to others covered by the Avena judgment.

Why the quiet retreat? Here’s some totally unsupported speculation: this is the result of a deal between Texas and Mexico. The GOM is sophisticated enough to understand that, in the end, Medellin wasn’t going to get any relief here: too gruesome a murder. too high profile a case, too much for Texas to back away from, all that complicated by state law quirks that deprive Governor Rick Perry of the final say. On the other side, for all its bluster along the lines of “we didn’t sign no treaty,” Texas understands that the Avena controversy hasn’t been good for the state’s global image.

So this represents the putative compromise. A slender reed of evidence for a deal: the Mexican government is MIA in all the press reports on Medellin’s impending execution. It appears not to be complaining publicly about the clear violation an IL obligation. If there were some sort of agreement (calling Duncan Hollis!), then Mexico wouldn’t go back to the ICJ to complain that Texas’ version of “review and reconsideration” isn’t good enough. Julian asks what Texas has gotten itself into here. But maybe they’ve finally dug themselves out..

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