Texas executes second foreign national since ICJ order

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Convicted murderer Heliberto Chi on Thursday became the second foreign national to be put to death in Texas since the International Court of Justice ordered the US to stay such executions. The US Supreme Court refused to grant either a stay or certiorari just hours before the Honduran man was executed at 6 pm local time. Lawyers for the Honduran government have argued that Chi was improperly prevented from contacting his government in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Last month, lawyers for Mexico made a similar argument before the ICJ to block the execution of Mexican citizen Jose Ernesto Medellin, which took place on Tuesday.

The governor of Texas announced his refusal to comply with the ICJ order last month. In March, the US Supreme Court ruled in Medellin v. Texas that neither a 2005 memorandum from President Bush ordering Texas to rehear several cases against Mexican nationals nor the March 2004 ICJ decision were binding on Texas officials who had refused to rehear Medellin's case. Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed Chi's lethal injection execution while the US Supreme Court considered Baze v. Rees, a case reviewing whether lethal injection is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment.

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