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Patricia O'Connell
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WRF Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of International Lawyers, Law Professors and Diplomats Regarding Treaty Enforcement

October 20, 2004

On October 20, 2004, WRF filed an amicus curiae briefat the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the petitioner, Jose Ernesto Medellin, in the case of Medellin v. Dretke, Case No. 04-5928. Medellin is one of 49 Mexican nationals currently on death row in the United States, who are covered by the final judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of Avena and Other Mexican Nationals, 2004 ICJ 128. Amici in the Medillin case are professors and scholars of law expert in international law and the application of international law by courts in the United States.

The amicus brief takes no position on the death penalty as such, but argues that because the Mexican nationals were not advised in a timely manner of their rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to contact the Mexican consular post, and were convicted and sentenced to death without the benefit of timely consular services, the Supreme Court is bound to apply the ICJ judgment in Avena holding that they are entitled to review and reconsideration of their convictions and sentences as a remedy for the treaty violation.