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Texas Showdown-Obama vs. Governor Perry

 Texas Gov. Rick Perry
(Photo by Jacob Silberberg/Pool/Getty Images)

It’s being billed as a Texas showdown, between Governor Rick Perry and President Obama.  At the center of the controversy is the pending midnight execution of Mexican citizen Humberto Leal, who is set to die by lethal injection for the 1994 rape and murder of 16-year old Adria Sauceda of San Antonio. 

Texas Governor Perry says all due process and justice protocol have been followed, the Texas judicial system has done it’s job, and it’s time for Leal to pay for his crime.  President Obama claims the execution will hurt relations between the US and Mexico.   The big issue here is, Leal’s defense claims Leal was not advised upon his arrest that as a foreign citizen he had the right to seek legal help from the Mexican government.  They want the execution delayed until the case can be reviewed.  The White House agrees, and has asked the Supreme Court to step in.  The US, however, does not have any federal legislation that gurantees foreign nationals the right to seek legal assistance from their home country, and Gov. Perry says that since it is not a signed law, this is a smoke screen attempt by Leal to avoid his penalty.  The Obama administration wants Congress to pass this law, although twice before it has failed.  One other convicted killer, Jose Medellin, tried the same defense plea concerning his role in the 2008 rape and killing of two Houston girls, and it failed.  He was executed.

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