HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Mexican citizen on dying row in Texas was executed Wednesday night time for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin who was kidnapped from her household’s residence and fatally overwhelmed.
Ruben Ramirez Cardenas, 47, was given a deadly injection after a number of federal court docket appeals didn’t halt his punishment for the February 1997 killing of Mayra Laguna.
Requested by the warden to make a closing assertion, he replied, “No, sir.”
Because the deadly dose of pentobarbital started, he took a few breaths after which started loud night breathing. After lower than a minute, all motion stopped.
Twenty-one minutes later, at 10:26 p.m. CST, he was pronounced useless, making him the seventh convicted killer put to dying this yr in Texas, which carries out capital punishment greater than another state.
Shortly after the execution, Mexican President Enrique Nieto tweeted, “I categorical my agency condemnation of the execution of the Mexican Rubén Cárdenas Ramírez in Texas, which violates the choice of the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice. My deepest condolences to the mourners.”
Cardenas’ legal professional, Maurie Levin, contended eyewitness testimony in opposition to Cardenas was shaky, that little bodily proof tied him to the killing and confession he gave was obtained after 22 hours of isolation and intense police questioning.
She additionally stated that authorities acted improperly when not telling the Mexican-born Cardenas that he may get authorized assist from the Mexican consulate.
Being born in Mexico, which doesn’t have capital punishment, made Cardenas eligible for authorized assist from the Mexican consulate when he was arrested, based on provisions of the Vienna Conference of Consular Relations, which is a 1963 worldwide settlement. The courts have allowed executions to maneuver ahead in a number of earlier Texas dying row instances by which the settlement was stated to have been violated.
“For the Mexican authorities, capital punishment constitutes probably the most important violations of human rights,” Jacob Prado Gonzalez, the Mexican authorities’s normal director for consular safety, stated.
Cardenas grew up within the Texas Rio Grande Valley.
In a handwritten assertion launched afterward, Cardenas thanked his household, attorneys and the Mexican consulate for his or her assist.
“Now! I can’t and can’t apologize for somebody elses crime, however, I can be Again for Justice,” he wrote. “You’ll be able to depend on that!”
His punishment was delayed for about 4 hours as last-ditch appeals for the previous safety guard centered totally on efforts to have trial proof bear new DNA testing. In a submitting to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom hours earlier than his execution, legal professionals argued Texas was violating Cardenas’ due course of rights and a state statute that covers forensic testing. They requested the justices to halt the execution for a court docket evaluate.
In addition they requested the justices for extra time to attraction a decrease court docket’s rejection of a federal civil rights lawsuit by which they claimed his due course of and civil rights have been being violated as a result of Texas officers would not launch proof so it might bear new DNA testing. Attorneys for the state stated the lawsuit was improper and that state courts already refused the DNA request as a result of Cardenas couldn’t present that extra superior exams would exonerate him. DNA leads to proof at Cardenas’ trial weren’t false, state attorneys stated.
The excessive court docket, with out remark, rejected each appeals.
Earlier this week, the Texas Courtroom of Prison Appeals, the state’s highest legal court docket, rejected an analogous attraction searching for DNA exams. Cardenas’ attorneys argued the brand new testing can be higher than the now-obsolete testing that left “persistent doubts about his guilt and the integrity of his conviction.”
Laguna was snatched from a bed room she shared with a youthful sister at her household’s public housing residence in McAllen in South Texas. In a confession to police, Cardenas stated he and a good friend drove round with the highschool scholar in his mom’s automobile. He stated he had intercourse with the teenager after which punched her as she fought him after he unbound her arms to let her go.
“I did not plan on doing this, however I used to be excessive on cocaine,” he instructed authorities.
He stated after he hit the teenager within the neck, she started coughing up blood and having problem respiratory. After attempting unsuccessfully to revive her, he stated he tied her up “and rolled her down a canal financial institution.”
Her physique was present in a canal close to a lake within the Rio Grande Valley in far South Texas.
Laguna’s sister, Roxana Jones, stated she had waited 21 years for justice to be served.
“Phrases cannot start describe the aid it feels to know that there’s true peace after a lot ache and sorrow,” she stated in an announcement launched by jail officers. “Mayra may be remembered as loving, caring, humorous and dimples when she smiled. She’s going to proceed to observe over household and mates.”
The good friend who was with Cardenas in the course of the abduction, Jose Antonio Lopez Castillo, now 45, was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and is serving a 25-year jail time period.