U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments on the Medellin Case

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Sunday, May 1, 2005
Rodrigo Labardini
On March 28, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court of Justice heard arguments on the Medellin case, a case dealing with whether state and federal courts must enforce U.S. treaty obligations that ensure foreign nationals detained in U.S. prisons are permitted access to diplomats from their home country, i.e., whether a violation of an international treaty can be used to challenge a conviction and death sentence in an American court. The case may affect 51 persons, all Mexican nationals. According to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the U.S. failed to provide them access to diplomats per provisions of the international treaty. In Avena, the ICJ ruled nearly unanimously (14-1), with the U.S. and Mexican judges agreeing, that the U.S. had violated article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations...[more]