U.S. should follow World Court order to stay executions of Mexican nationals
Duty to honor international obligations applies to all
Washington, DC (February 5, 2003) -- In response to news that the International Court of Justice at the Hague has ordered the United States to stay the next three pending executions of Mexican nationals until they prove that the defendants were given access to consular assistance, as required by international law, Lawrence Goldman, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement:
“We hope the United States will follow the order of the World Court to stay the pending executions of the Mexican nationals. Unfortunately, our past record indicates that we will not.
“It would be ironic for the United States to ignore the order of a World Tribunal at the same time we threaten war on another nation on the ground that it flouts the directives of a world body.
“The rule of international law should certainly be respected as much when it prevents death as when it arguably allows for war. We should consider following the lead of our neighbors in Mexico in their respect for both life and the law.”
Goldman is a criminal defense lawyer in New York City. He can be reached at (212)997-7499.