Victims' Rights Caucus


 Madam Speaker, teenagers Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena were viciously raped, beaten, strangled and stomped to death by six gang members in Houston in 1993. One of these killers, Mexican national Jose Ernesto Medellin, was given the death penalty. But the World Court claims that Medellin was denied access to the Mexican consulate during his arrest. The U.S. administration sided with the World Court in Mexico and ordered Texas to hold a new hearing for Medellin based on a treaty the United States signed in 1969. But the Texas court, highest Texas court, ruled 9-0 the administration had no constitutional authority to order Texas courts to do anything; upheld the conviction, ordered the execution, especially because Medellin never objected at trial that he did not see his consulate. The killer, with the support of the administration and Mexico, has appealed the Texas court decision to the United States Supreme Court. One wonders why the administration is siding with Mexico over the American court system.

   Madam Speaker, the ironic thing is the United States has withdrawn the consulate treaty provision. The United States justice system and the sovereignty of the United States Constitution should be paramount to the wishes of Mexico, the World Court and the administration. The Supreme Court should uphold this valid conviction and not give in to the wishes of Foreign Courts.

   And that's just the way it is.